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First Baptist Church

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1881, Hartwell and Richardson. 5 Magazine St.

Standing at the apex of the intersection of Magazine and River streets with Massachusetts Avenue, First Baptist Church shines as one of the earliest projects by Hartwell and Richardson. The footprint conforms to the previous structure on the site, a High Victorian Gothic church designed by Woodcock and Meacham in 1866 that had burned down. Constructed of brick with sandstone and terra-cotta trim, the exterior of the Hartwell and Richardson church pays stylistic homage to its predecessor. However, instead of Ruskinian polychromy, the 1881 design employs bands of terra-cotta in reticulated patterns normally associated with Romanesque architecture. The corner tower with large arched belfry ends in a copper-clad steeple. The interior Gothic woodwork includes a great opentruss ceiling.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "First Baptist Church", [Cambridge, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 297-298.

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