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Old North Church

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Christ Church
1722–1724, William Price; 1912–1914 restoration, R. Clipston Sturgis. 192 Salem St.
  • Old North Church (Christ Church) (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)

Thought by some to be the church from which Paul Revere and William Dawes received signals regarding the landing of British troops, Old North Church remains Boston's oldest religious structure. It established the typical New England church form—a rectangle with the pulpit at one end and the steeple and entrance at the other. The design is attributed to William Price, a book dealer who studied the published designs of Christopher Wren's London churches. St.-Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe in Blackfriars and St. James, Piccadilly, by Wren resemble the design. Although the body of the church was completed in 1724, the steeple was not built until ten or fifteen years later. It fell in a storm in 1804, and Charles Bulfinch designed a replacement in 1806. In his restoration, R. Clipston Sturgis stripped away nineteenth-century changes, reconstructing square box pews and a raised pulpit, reintroducing a window in the apse, and mistakenly painting the interior white. Although not authentic by current standards, the work by Sturgis and his associate Henry Ross reestablished the eighteenth-century character of the building.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan



  • 1722

  • 1912


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Old North Church", [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, 93-94.

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