The original Gothic Revival/Tudor Revival influence Oxford Church of Christ building was completed circa 1950. John Linn Hopkins completed the National Register of Historic Places nomination form in 2007 for the North Lamar Historic District. Hopkins described the building details:
…engaged buttresses, tripartite windows…flat Tudor casements with transoms, set in Gibbs surround architrave variant (which references the design of the door)…
The church was included in the North Lamar local historic district in 2003. Sometime between 2003 and the last few years, the Church of Christ planned to sell, which sparked an outcry from the neighborhood. The possibility of selling the building led to fears that it would be bought to be demolished, and either commercial or new housing (condos, for example) that did not befit the historic quality of the houses on the street would be the result.
Given that driving down any street in Oxford now reveals the intrusion of condos in historic residential areas (for example, on University Avenue across from the Methodist Church, almost anywhere in or near downtown), this was a reasonable fear. While at the time, there were news articles, and signs protesting the sale of the church all over the neighborhood, I could find nary a reference to it now, after considerable searching. Thus, I don’t know the actual outcome other than the church is still the church, and the signs are no longer necessary.
If I lived in the North Lamar district (which is highly improbable unless I won the Tennessee lottery Powerball, and even then, unlikely as if I had that much money, you would find me splitting my time between Alaska and South Africa, and possibly occasional side trips to California, Colorado, and New York and new adventures), I would have been worried, too. Who wants to look at yet one more standard Oxford condo/6 condos crammed sideways into a tiny lot when you could look at a carefully constructed stone Gothic building with details on which to feast the eye?
There is current news out there about the church’s move plans, however, that are a bit startling, and I will follow up on that after the next post, which will feature the new church building, with its post-modernist influence, constructed circa 1980.