HIGHLAND PARK – Graeme Flegenheimer’s effort to transform the former York Boulevard Church of Christ into a live music and performance space were rejected by city, forcing him to close what he called The Church on York. But the city is apparently more receptive to a proposal to declare the 101-year-old, Craftsman-Tudor style structure a historic-cultural monument. Planning Department staff have recommended that the Cultural Heritage Commission approve the landmark application submitted for the church earlier this year. The commission was scheduled to vote on the application today.
*Update: The commission voted to declare the church a historic-cultural monument.
The building in the 4900 block of York Boulevard was built in 1913 for The York Boulevard Methodist Episcopal Church. The last church to occupy the building, York Boulevard Church of Christ, was using the building only for prayer meetings and Sunday school before putting the property up for sale in 2012.
Although the building’s original shingled exterior was covered up with stucco decades ago, the building “retains its integrity” and is “emblematic of how the Arts and Crafts movement influenced ecclesiastical design during the early part of the 20th Century,” according to the application submitted by historian Charlie Fisher.
If commission agrees to declare the building a landmark, the application then goes to the full City Council for final approval. Stay tuned to find out how the commission votes.