If this Congregationalist church at the corner of Tremont and Park streets could sing, what joyful noise it would be. Samuel Smith's hymn "America" was first sung inside the church, which was designed by Peter Banner and erected in 1809–10, on July 4, 1831. The country's oldest musical organization, the Handel & Haydn Society, was founded here in 1815. In 1829 William Lloyd Garrison began his long public campaign for the abolition of slavery here. The distinguished
steeple is considered by many critics to be the most beautiful in New England. Just outside the church, at the intersection of Park and Tremont streets (and the main subway crossroads of the city) is Brimstone Corner. Whether the name refers to the fervent thunder of the church's preachers, the gunpowder that was once stored in the church's crypt, or the burning sulfur that preachers once scattered on the pavement to attract potential churchgoers, we'll never know—historians simply can't agree.