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Monastery of St. John the Divine/Conventual Church of St. Mary and St. John

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1926 monastery, 1936 church, Cram and Ferguson. 980 Memorial Dr.

Ralph Adams Cram's final important project in the Boston area, the Conventual Church of St. Mary and St. John is also one of his finest. Here he stressed the architecture of wall and of volume, using rubble stone dressed with limestone to create a very subdued sanctuary. The choir behind the baldacchino is especially large to accommodate the brothers' services. Delicate wrought-iron screens and jewel-like stained glass are the more extraordinary because they are contrasted with the severity of the Burgundian Romanesque–inspired mass. Cram designed the monastery for the Cowley Fathers, an order of Episcopal monks, ten years before the chapel; the cloister remains unfinished.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Monastery of St. John the Divine/Conventual Church of St. Mary and St. John", [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, 338-338.

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