Swedenborgian Church in Brookline // 1862

The only church in the Pill Hill neighborhood of Brookline, the former Swedenborgian Church, while fairly small, makes a large architectural statement. This Gothic Revival church, designed by William Ware (of Ware and Van Brunt) and Edward Philbrick, is one of the few non-residential buildings in this area. The simple rectangular chapel and 3-sided apse are constructed in Roxbury pudding stone and trimmed with limestone. The Stick style bracketed porch and porte-cochere were added in the 1870s. The Swedenborg faith ‘followed a rational approach to love, wisdom, and order, and a belief that salvation was not possible through faith alone but must also be based on good works. Swedenborg also believed that Africans were particularly attuned to the Deity — thus part of the appeal of Swedenborgianism for Abolitionists’. The church is now occupied by the Latvian Lutheran Church of Boston.