The Christian Science Plaza is located at the intersection of several Boston neighborhoods, including the South End, Back Bay, and Fenway. More specifically, the site occupies the southeast corner of Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues, and its Plaza functions as a large privately-owned space accessible to the public. Aside from the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the site houses the administrative headquarters of the Church and the Christian Science Publishing Society.
The original Mother Church was built in 1894 and expanded to include the domed Church “Extension” in 1906. The publishing building was added in 1934 to house the Christian Science Publishing Society. The site was further extended in the 1970s with a design by I.M. Pei. & Partners and Araldo Cossutta, Associated Architects. At that time the Reflecting Pool, Children’s Fountain, Colonnade Building (101 Belvidere Street), Administration Building (177 Huntington Avenue), and the Sunday School building were constructed.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, originally announced its intention in April 2006 to revitalize the Plaza, which has remained largely unchanged for several decades. The Church took the first step in this multi-year process by consolidating all of its employees into the largest building on the site, the Christian Science Publishing House, which also houses The Mary Baker Eddy Library. That move was completed in 2008, freeing up portions of other buildings, including a 28-story tower, to be available for short-term leasing.
The Christian Science Plaza will remain as the world headquarters for the Christian Science Church, and the Church plans to continue to own and maintain control of the Plaza. In updating its plans, the Church is seeking to enhance the Plaza for the community, improve the environmental sustainability of the Plaza, and explore opportunities for underutilized real estate.
Citizens Advisory Committee: The Christian Science Plaza Revitalization Project Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is made up of residents, business owners, community organizations, and professionals. Mayor Thomas M. Menino appointed the CAC in January 2009 to review and guide the proposed Plaza revitalization by the First Church of Christ, Scientist. The CAC will be responsible for assisting the BRA for the duration of the project.
The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) has designated the Christian Science Center Complex as a Boston Landmark. More information is available on the BLC website: www.cityofboston.gov/landmarks/
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, The Christian Science Board of Directors, and The Church Realty Trust submitted a Master Plan for Planned Development (PDA Master Plan) Area No. 80, Christian Science Plaza, Huntington Avenue/Prudential Center, Boston for the proposed revitalization of the Christian Science Plaza, which includes significant upgrades to the Christian Science Plaza’s privately-owned open space including reconstruction of the Reflecting Pool, additional green space, seating and other improvements, as well as a new 4,300 square foot open space, and envisions the construction of up to 950,000 square feet of gross floor area in three new buildings as well as an approximately 2,000 square-foot pavilion building. On August 14, 2011, the PDA Master Plan was approved by the BRA Board. On September 14, 2011, the Boston Zoning Commission also approved the PDA Master Plan for the site.
On July 12, 2013, Carpenter & Company submitted an Expanded Project Notification Form (PNF) for the Belvidere/Dalton Project, to develop the high-rise and mid-rise buildings envisioned in the Master Plan. The two buildings will total 950,000-SF of hotel and residential space. This includes the density previously planned for the third building on the site near the Sunday School Building. The project was approved by the BRA Board on September 12, 2013.
For more information, please visit the Christian Science Plaza PDA Master Plan development project page.
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