Well the Missus and I trundled downtown yesterday to partake of Common Boston, this weekend’s festival that calls itself “a unique opportunity to discover and explore the region’s rich architectural, cultural, and historic resources.”
From innovative wood shops and rooftop gardens to 300 year old houses and tiffany’s stained glass adorned sacred spaces, Common Boston’s diverse range of sites sheds light on the great and hidden architecture of Boston.
We went for the tiffany’s stained glass adorned sacred space at Newbury Street’s Church of the Covenant and, say, it was . . . spectacular.
A little background:
The Gothic Revival Church of the Covenant, designed by Richard M. Upjohn, was completed in 1867. It quickly became a landmark with its spire rising 236 feet, the tallest in Boston in its day. The sanctuary was completely redecorated in the 1890s by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company with mosaics, decorative tracery, carved woodwork, trompe l’oeil paint stenciling, a huge lantern, 42 Tiffany windows and a color scheme that unified the elements.
It’s an absolutely magnificent structure (and, just for scale, the Missus and I have recently returned from visiting the vaunted – and vaulted – Sainte-Chapelle, along with the hidden Paris gem Val-de-Grâce, a stunningly beautiful church “built as a thank you gift. Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII, commissioned it after the birth of her son in 1638 (the child went on to become Louis XIV, the Sun King).”
Anyway, here’s a nice video of the Church of the Covenant sanctuary. There’s also a tour of the Tiffany windows here.
The church has achieved National Historic Landmark status as the largest Tiffany-designed ecclesiastical interior in the country, but a lovely tour guide told us it needs about $8 million worth of restoration.
Regardless of your philanthropic resources, you should stop by the church today.
It’s a revelation.