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Photographer's Note

The Historic Trinity Church in Boston reflected in a modern glass building.

H. H. Richardson's Trinity Church has been cited as one of America's ten most important architectural creations. Sitting proudly within Copley Square, the granite and brownstone landmark was dedicated in 1877 by a spellbinding young Boston preacher, Phillips Brooks. Brooks nurtured his beloved project with the help of a team of young innovators including architect Henry Hobson Richardson, the genius behind a style that would ultimately be called "Richardson Romanesque." Early on, Richardson knew that a brilliantly colored interior was essential to his design for Trinity Church, so he called on his friend, master painter John La Farge, to oversee the decorative scheme. At the time, La Farge had no experience working on large-scale architectural structures and was given a scant four months to complete the job. But ultimately, his Trinity murals sparked the American Mural Movement and are credited with creating a celebrated new aesthetic.

In the late 1990s Trinity Church leaders recognized that their beloved National Historic Landmark was in desperate need of an overhaul. The six-year multi-phase restoration and expansion project had an overwhelming price tag that required the parish to raise $55 million. The project included the restoration of historic details, and innovations such as geothermal wells for heating and cooling systems. In the church's central tower, distinctive stonework was repointed and cleaned, but without making it look "over-restored." The massive central tower has been repaired to halt water penetration that was damaging interior finishes. Stained-glass windows and murals in the central tower have been painstakingly returned to their brilliant color. In the building's undercroft, a new visitor center and multipurpose community space have been created in an area that was previously unused, and additional meeting space was restored in the adjoining parish house.

Trinity Church Interior
download large version Remarkably, the entire project was done without disrupting church services, including Christmas 2004 when the entire sanctuary rested on temporary shoring. Today, Trinity's power to inspire endures as evidenced by the more than 100,000 annual visitors who embrace this testament to artistic vision and human ingenuity.

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Additional Photos by Assi Dvilanski (asival) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 293 W: 109 N: 750] (5307)
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