Largest intact Tiffany-designed ecclesiastical interior in America
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (February 11, 2013) ‒ Boston's Church of the Covenant at Newbury and Berkeley Streets in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood has been named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. The public is invited to join representatives of the National Park Service for a presentation ceremony at the church on Sunday, February 24 at noon, followed by a reception.
Fewer than 2,600 places nationwide, and only seven other churches in Boston, bear this distinction. The National Historic Landmark program, begun in 1935 and administered by the National Park Service, recognizes nationally significant historic places that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.
The Gothic Revival church, designed by architect Richard M. Upjohn and completed in 1867, is recognized as having the largest interior designed by the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company. Completed in 1894-96, the comprehensive decoration includes 42 large stained glass windows, Byzantine-style mosaics, complex trompe l’oeil painted decoration, elaborate wood traceries and furnishings, and a massive illuminated art glass lantern that was displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
“There are very few churches in the world that have interiors completely designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and none as complete or important as the Church of the Covenant in Boston,” wrote stained glass authority Arthur Femenella, who was commissioned by Tiffany & Company to survey the 42 stained glass windows at the church in 1991. Art historian and stained glass exhibition curator Virginia C. Raguin has stated, “There is absolutely no question in my mind [this] is one of the most impressive collections of glass in America.” Tiffany expert Robert Koch has described the church’s lantern as “a great hanging sculpture, the grandfather of all Tiffany leaded glass lamps and an important example of America’s best art of the 1890s.”
Interior photos can be viewed at http://www.cotcbos.org/tiffany-interior--windows.html
The landmark application report for the Church of the Covenant (formerly “Central Congregational Church”) is at: http://www.nps.gov/nhl/Fall11Noms/CentralCongregational.pdf
The Church of the Covenant houses an active congregation jointly affiliated with the United Church of Christ (Congregational) and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The sanctuary is open to the public during Sunday worship at 10:30 am and Mon-Sat from 11 am-3pm, April thru October.
Contact: Charlene James
(508) 359-8655 Cell: (508) 254-8113