Trinity Church, Boston

  • Also Known As: Trinity Episcopal Church

  • Type: Church
  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Building
  • Activity Category: Tour



Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1872/01/01 Rev Phillips Brooks Vocation The Proprietors of Trinity Church buy a rectangular lot located on the east side of Copley Square for $105,000. Situated in Boston's Back Bay area, the newly developed residential area is comprised of filled-in land.
1872/03/00 Robert Treat Paine (philanthropist) Chairman Trinity Building Committee invites 6 firms to submit designs for a new complex: a church to seat 1,000 persons on the main floor and 350 in the galleries, robing room, organ, Parish Building with a 500 seat Lecture Room, Sunday School, Infant Room.
1872/06/01 Henry H Richardson Architect The Committee awards the Trinity commission to Henry H Richardson of NYC. Richardson will come to Boston and urge the Committee to acquire the triangle of land that adjoins the church site.
1872/06/14 As advised by H H Richardson, the Building Committee buys the triangle lot that adjoins the church property for $74,000, almost doubling the original building site.
1873/03/00 A carved granite stone from the facade of the destroyed Trinity Church designed by George W Brimmer is preserved and later installed in the cloister wall (just outside the Clarendon St entrance to the church). Great Boston Fire of 1872
1873/04/00 Henry H Richardson Architect In early April, Richardson presents a modified design based on the larger lot to the Building Committee who ask him to reduce the height and weight of the 50-ft tower so it can be safely erected on landfill.
1873/06/29 After making adjustments, reducing the weight of the tower from 18,601,401 pounds to 14,244,359 pounds and its height by about one-third, Richardson's third design is rejected. His 4th set will be accepted.
1873/07/00 Ernest W Bowditch Structural Engineer During the spring and summer of 1873 some 4500 wooden piles are sunk in the filled-in land, at a cost of $65,000, to support the weight of the church and Parish House.
1873/09/09 Norcross Brothers Co Contractor Construction bids are opened and James and Orlando Norcross, Builders of Worcester are the low bidders with a figure of $355,000.
1873/10/00 Henry H Richardson Architect H H Richardson revises his plans for the fifth time and receives a total of $7,218.90, including expenses, for his work. There will be no further payments though the project will occupy a great deal of his time for the next three years.
1873/10/10 Norcross Brothers reduce their bid to $290,000 and sign a contract calling for the completion of the Parish house by November, 1874 and the church by 1 September 1876.
1874/04/05 Norcross Brothers Co Contractor Norcross Brothers accept Richardson's final drawings and begin work. Per the recommendations of its new consulting engineer, the committee directs Richardson to redesign the central tower to further lighten its weight.
1874/11/29 Trinity Church Chapel (Parish House) is completed. Work began on the parish house on 26 March 1874.
1875/03/00 The 6th and final set of drawings are completed. Richardson spent the spring and summer of 1874 reworking the plan. The tower is inspired by the tower of the Old Cathedral at Salamanca, Spain from photographs of Spanish churches sent by John La Farge.
1875/03/26 Norcross Brothers Co Contractor Norcross Brothers begin work on the church. On 1 April 1875, they will sign a new contract giving them an additional $11,500 and the completion date will be changed to 1 December 1876.
1875/05/20 Rev Phillips Brooks Rector, Contributing Architect Phillips Brooks lays the cornerstone for the new Trinity Church. The arches and vault will be completed by July 26.
1876/09/00 B Wentworth receives a $4,218 contract to construct the 228 low pews for the church and O W Penny of New York a $2,000 contract for the great central chandelier and the eight smaller ones.
1876/09/15 John LaFarge Painter The Building Committee hires John La Farge to paint and decorate the interior of the church for $8,000. Although the committee wished to leave the interior bare, Richardson persuaded them to engage La Farge.
1876/10/00 George W Maynard Painter John LaFarge assembles a team of younger artists to tackle his first large-scale mural project, among them: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Francis Lathrop and George Maynard, who had studied the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp.
1876/10/00 Francis Lathrop Painter Under the direction of LaFarge, Francis Lathrop designs and paints the chancel of Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts.
1876/11/00 Francis Davis Millet Painter Working for LaFarge, Francis Millet paints murals at Trinity Church using a magic lantern to project photographs of the small preparatory drawings onto a wall. Where are murals? One may have been rediscover in 2004.
1877/01/31 John LaFarge Painter Capping off 5 months of effort, John LaFarge and several assistants work through the night to finish the murals and decorations at Trinity Church.
1877/02/09 Rev Phillips Brooks Rector Trinity Church is dedicated. Cost of construction including the piling and interior work was about $456,000, total cost of the project with land acquisition included was about $635,000.
1878/10/15 Charlotte Olmsted Bryant Bride Charlotte Olmsted marries Dr John Bryant at Trinity church, Boston.
1882/00/00 Morris and Co Artisan Designed by Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and Co create four stained glass windows for Trinity church, Boston.
1882/00/00 Edward Burne-Jones Artist Executed by William Morris and Co, Edward Burne-Jones designs four stained glass windows (including 3 with green backgrounds on the N transept side) at Trinity church, Boston.
1882/10/12 Francis W Chandler Groom Alice Daland, the daughter of Henry Tucker Daland and his wife Helen E Chamberlin, weds Francis W Chandler at Trinity Church in Boston.
1883/00/00 John LaFarge Artisan Christ Preaching (3 panel clerestory window with the brilliant turquoise background, west end) is installed at Trinity Church
1890/00/00 Rev Phillips Brooks provides religious studies for Helen Keller at Trinity Church, Boston.
1890/00/00 Helen Keller Perishoner Helen Keller receives religious instruction from Phillips Brooks at Trinity Church.
1890/00/00 Rev Phillips Brooks Minister Helen Keller receives religious instruction from Phillips Brooks at Trinity Church.
1895/00/00 George Foster Shepley Architects The two towers on the west are more Romanesque and historical than Richardson's design. The porch, modeled after St Trophime's, is close to Richardson's except that the frieze is much heavier and a good deal of the original grace has been lost.
1895/00/00 Sarah Wyman Whitman creates two stained glass windows for Trinity Church, now in the Angel Room of the Parish House.
1896/00/00 Augustus Saint-Gaudens Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens begins a statue of Phillips Brooks for Trinity church, Boston. Saint-Gaudens will worked on it until 1907.
1897/00/00 Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge Architects Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge complete Trinity Church, 1894-1897.
1906/00/00 Stanford White Architect Stanford White designs a base for a statue of Phillips Brooks by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to be installed at Trinity church, Boston.
1910/00/00 William Mitchell Kendall Architect Statue of Phillips Brooks by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at Trinity Church is dedicated.
1912/10/26 Herbert E Winlock Groom Helen Chandler, daughter of Francis Ward Chandler and Alice Daland Chandler, marries Herbert Eustis Winlock at the Trinity Church in Boston.
1912/10/26 Helen Chandler Winlock Bride Helen Chandler, daughter of Francis Ward Chandler and Alice Daland Chandler, marries Herbert Eustis Winlock at the Trinity Church in Boston.


Amory Ballroom
  • NRHP
Old Cathedral of Salamanca
Trinity Rectory, Boston
  • NRHP

Data »

Particulars for Trinity Church, Boston:
Area of Significance Architecture
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Area of Significance Art
Sight Category Building
Building Type Church
Area of Design Decorative Arts
Level of Significance National
Musical Instrument Organ
Criteria Person
Owner Private
Area of Significance Religion
Historic Use Religious Property
Architectural Style Richardsonian Romanesque
Architectural Style Romanesque Revival
Building Attribute Stained Glass

US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration:

Registry Name:
Registry Address:
Registry Number: 70000733
Resource Type:
Owner: Private
Architect: Richarson,Henry Hobson
Architectural Style: Other, Romanesque
Attribute: Richardsonian Romanesque
Other Certification: Designated National Landmark
Nominator Name: National Historic Landmark
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Architecture
Applicable Criteria: Architecture-Engineering
Criteria Consideration: Religious property
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1850-1874
Significant Year: 1873, 1877
Historic Function: Religion
Historic Sub-Function: Religious structure
Current Function: Religion
Current Sub-Function: Religious structure

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