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Churches and "Landmark" Laws

Designation of a church as a historical landmark may violate the church's rights.

Multi States

• A federal appeals court ruled that the constitutional rights of a church were not violated by a state "landmark" law that prevented the church from demolishing one of its buildings. St. Bartholomew's Church is a Protestant Episcopal Church organized in 1835 under the laws of New York as a nonprofit religious corporation. Construction of the current sanctuary began in 1917. The church is a notable example of Byzantine style, built on a Latin cross plan. Significant features include its stone exterior, soaring octagonal dome, and large rose window. Perhaps most significantly, the church incorporates the Romanesque porch of the former church building. The porch is composed of a high arched central portal flanked by two lower arched doorways, all supported by columns. The doors themselves are richly decorated bronze, depicting Biblical themes. Next to the church sanctuary is a terraced, ...

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  • July 1, 1991

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