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Madonna Queen Shrine

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1956, Mario Bacciocchi. 111 Orient Ave.
  • Madonna Queen Shrine (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

A landmark easily seen from throughout East Boston, the Madonna Queen Shrine crowns the top of Orient Heights. The Don Orione Fathers, a Roman Catholic Order, came to Boston in 1949 to establish a home for aged Italians. They first purchased the Italianate house at 150 Orient Avenue, but applications came in so quickly that in 1952 the order began construction of a new nursing facility at 111 Orient Avenue, a typical modern institutional structure designed and built by the Coletti Brothers of Quincy in 1952–1953 and expanded by them in 1965. Across the street, the brothers began construction of the Madonna Queen Shrine in 1956; it was dedicated in 1987. The centerpiece of the shrine is the four-ton statue of the Madonna, sculpted by Arrigo Minerbi and transported from Rome to Boston in 1954. Behind the statue rises an observation tower surmounted by a golden crown, looking from afar somewhat like a misplaced control tower for Logan Airport. Minerbi, an Italian Jewish sculptor, had been sheltered by the Orione Fathers in Rome during World War II and produced the statue in gratitude for their protection.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Madonna Queen Shrine", [Boston, 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, 218-219.

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