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First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church Review

This 1872 structure, at the corner of Clarendon Street and Commonwealth Avenue, was architect Henry Hobson Richardson's first foray into Romanesque Revival. It was originally erected for the Brattle Square Unitarian Society, but Richardson ran over budget and the church went bankrupt and dissolved. In 1882 the building was bought by the Baptists. The figures on each side of its soaring tower were sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty. The friezes represent four points at which God enters an individual's life: baptism, communion, marriage, and death. The trumpeting angels at each corner have earned First Baptist its nickname, "Church of the Holy Bean Blowers." If you phone ahead for an appointment on a weekday, you may be given an informal tour.

Updated: 11-12-2013

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