The owners of an architecturally remarkable church in South Austin received demolition permits for the building after skipping the city’s Historic Landmark Commission’s review due to a bureaucratic “snafu,” the Austin Monitor reported Thursday. The approval was published on October 28th.
The Evangelical Lutheran Prince of Peace Church, built around 1955, was designed by Austin architect Eugene Wukasch and, according to the Preservation Texas website, was “probably the earliest example of an A-frame or tent-shaped church in central Texas”. The church also displayed glass art by Octavio Medellín, a renowned Mexican-American artist. Preservation Texas added Prince of Peace to its list of Most Endangered Places in 2019.
The Austin Historic Landmark Commission initiated historic zoning for the building in July, according to the Monitor. The applicant applied for the demolition permit on July 9th. Despite the prohibition that a person “has an external or site architectural feature of a building for which a [historic] The naming is still pending. “In the summer there was a dismantling of the former church building – a situation that the local historian and architect Jason Haskins had repeatedly reported to the Landmark Commission, according to the Monitor.
Applicants filed a site map for the property and removed stained glass windows, and a gaping hole appeared in the roof, Haskins reported. In one of the few confusing bureaucratic turns related to the situation, the city’s assistant historic preservation officer, Cara Bertron, informed the commission that although the Austin Code department had determined that improper work had been completed and that the department was on Aug. October reported a violation because the demo approval was technically released before the 30-day response time required by the owners.
Similarly, in what Commissioner Ben Heimsath referred to as’ Snafu ‘, the Commission staff removed the case of the building’s landmarking from the Commission’s agenda because’ the city staff did not include the case under the relevant section as a hearing for have listed the demolition request for the property. ”Reported the monitor.
The withdrawal of the case resulted in the forced release of the demolition permit as the Commission had not held a hearing on the request within 60 days of receipt.