Dedicated in 1893, the First Parish Church of Brookline is the fourth to house the congregation that began as The Church of Christ here in 1717. Earlier iterations of the church were located here, at the geographic center of the new town which separated from Boston. Before this handsome stone church was constructed, the third home to the congregation was constructed in 1848 in the Gothic Revival style designed by architect Edward C. Cabot. The church purchased the former Brookline Town Hall in 1890, and sought to enlarge their church building, deciding to construct a new house of worship and expand, later connecting to the former Town Hall. The congregation hired the firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, the successors to H. H. Richardson, whose architectural influence is readily apparent in the Romanesque arches and heavy massing of the building. The church has a collection of some of the most stunning stained glass windows in the region, many of which are designed and signed by Louis C. Tiffany.
Charles Storrow (1809-1904) was a wealthy engineer who first brought water power to and developed mills at the industrial scale in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He started his own cotton mills in the city of Lawrence and laid out streets radiating from those mills on the river, allowing him to become the first mayor of Lawrence in 1853. He married Lydia Cabot Jackson in 1836 and they eventually built a country home in the Pill Hill neighborhood Brookline to get away from the dense housing and pollution of the cities. It appears he gifted this house (adjacent to his own house) to his son, also Charles. The home was designed by architect Edward Clarke Cabot, Lydia’s father, who was a partner in the firm Cabot & Chandler. Charles Storrow’s grandson James, is the namesake of Storrow Drive, the highway that runs along the Charles River in Boston.