DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a battle over property rights versus historic preservation in Denver and now the city council will decide the fate of a historic church.

Typically the city council has come down on the side of property rights over historic preservation, but in the case of Beth Eden Baptist Church, the council is split and Monday night’s vote could go either way.

Historic Denver has asked for a landmark designation to prevent changes to the church’s exterior without city approval. The owner has asked for a 5-year “certificate of non-historic status,” which would allow for demolition without city approval.

The 83-year-old building is the only documented church in the Tudor revival style in Denver. The city’s Landmark Preservation Commission has recommended the city council approve landmark status.

“We don’t want to have that legacy, which is really probably one of most notable landmarks in the West Highlands neighborhood; we don’t want to have that loss,” John Olson with Historic Denver said. “We see no problems with having development on site, but it can happen in conjunction with that and Historic Denver has always been about that dynamic between old and new.”

It’s not the first battle over the site. A builder planned to erect an apartment complex on the property and preserve the church, but neighbors fought that over concerns about density and the building’s height. The developer ended up backing out after three years of fighting.

The city council will vote Monday night.

LINK: Historic Denver


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