The First Church of Christ, Scientist

Boston, MA

The campus of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood consists of the Mother Church and Mother Church Extension, Publishing House, former Administration Building, former Church Colonnade Building, and former Sunday School Building (now Reflection Hall). Vertical Access has performed investigations of the Mother Church Extension, the Publishing House, and the former Administration Building.

The Mother Church Extension was completed in 1906, as a much-larger addition to the 1894 Mother Church. It was designed by Charles Brigham, with design alterations by Solon Spencer Beman during its construction.

The Publishing House was designed by Chester Lindsay Churchill and completed in 1934. It is 11 stories tall and clad in limestone and granite. The Mary Baker Eddy Library was installed in the building’s lower floors in 2001 and the church’s administrative headquarters were relocated to the building in 2008.

The former Administration Building is a 28-story reinforced-concrete structure designed by I.M. Pei and completed in 1973, as part of a large plaza that also included the Sunday School Building, Colonnade Building, and a 670-foot long reflecting pool.

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Scope of work

  • Investigated and documented existing condition of the exterior concrete of the Administration Building. Performed subsequent follow-up investigations to monitor the condition of the façade.
  • Performed a hands-on inspection of designated areas of the balustrade wall, limestone drum, and terra cotta dome and lantern of the Mother Church Extension.
  • Performed a hands-on inspection of designated areas of the upper four stories of the west portion of the Publishing House.

Building owner

  • The First Church of Christ, Scientist

In collaboration with

  • Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Tripi Engineering Services (2006 Administration Building)