Preservation board endorses revised plan to build garage on top of historic church

First Church of Christ Scientist
First Church of Christ Scientist

Miami’s historic preservation board has given its blessing to developer Fifteen Group for its proposed rooftop garage suspended over the Christian Science church on Biscayne Boulevard.

Fifteen Group first approached the board a month ago with its plan: the developer would renovate the church, add in retail space and apply for a historic designation if it could build a garage on the roof and attach it to its planned condominium next door.

Initial renderings showed an imposing glass structure that overshadowed the church, leaving board members and preservationists less than enthusiastic about the plan.

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The new plan shows a slimmer and taller garage seated further back from the church’s front facade, with a bigger gap between it and the roof. It would now sit 33 and 23 feet from the front and north sides, respectively, with a 14.5-foot gap between the roof and the garage, a publication reported.

The number of columns needed to support the structure has also been reduced from six to four, saving the church sanctuary’s dome, the Miami Herald reported.

The plan was devised by architects ADD Inc./Stantec and historic preservation expert Richard Heisenbottle, the newspaper reported.

Fifteen Group purchased the church and its lot for $14.3 million in November and set out to build a 46-story condominium tower on the sliver of land next to the church — which left no room for a separate parking lot or garage. [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz

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