Olinger Moore Howard Chapel

The Olinger Moore Howard Chapel mortuary at 4345 W. 46th Ave., Denver.

In the wake of the controversy over whether to designate an East Colfax Avenue diner as historic, another dispute has popped up over a 59-year-old mortuary chapel in the Berkeley neighborhood.

Denver's Landmark Preservation Commission on Tuesday recommended preserving the Olinger Moore Howard Chapel -- also known as Howard Berkeley Park Chapel -- as a historic structure, Denverite reports.

The building's current owner, SCI Colorado Funeral Services, opposed the move. It has committed the building to Koelbel & Co. to be razed for housing.

The commission based its decision on the building's location and architecture; the chapel was built in 1960 and designed by local architect J. Roger Musick.

The chapel ceased hosting services earlier this year, The Denver Post reports.

Carl Koebel said in the meeting that preserving and redeveloping the current building will be difficult with some of the challenging design features. “We do not see any way that this building can be saved,” Koelbel said.

The Denver City Council's land use committee will decide by Sept. 26 whether to send the motion to city council for full approval.

The disagreement follows an earlier proposal to slap a historic designation on 52-year-old Tom's Diner on East Colfax, whose owner wants to sell the property to a developer. But a group seeking historic preservation status for the retro-futuristic property withdrew its application last week.

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