Mount Vernon Church // 1844-1968

The stunning Mount Vernon Church in Boston was built in 1844 in the very popular Greek Revival architectural style at the edge of Beacon Hill. Located on Ashburton Place, the granite church, designed by famed architect Richard Bond, had just 47 members at its inception led by pastor Edward N. Kirk. The congregation ballooned to 1,600 members until Kirk’s death in 1871, slowly decreasing after that. The church in 1892, followed the shifting Boston population to the developed Back Bay neighborhood and built a new place of worship at the corner of Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue. Ever-dwindling membership caused the church to become absorbed by the established Old South Church in 1970. The second Mount Vernon church in Back Bay burned in 1978, and was redeveloped into Church Court Condominiums by architect Graham Gund in 1983.

Ca. 1895 image of Mount Vernon Church as Isaac Rich Hall courtesy of BPL.

Back to the original building… After the church relocated to the Back Bay, the building was acquired by Boston University Law School and renamed Isaac Rich Hall, after an original founder of Boston University. The former church was renovated to contain a lecture hall, library, classrooms and offices (talk about adaptive reuse!) The granite building with its symmetrical facade was razed by 1968 for the more mundane (and tall) McCormack Office Building on Ashburton Place.

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