You are invited to join the FRIENDS OF BOSTON, FIRST, a nonprofit organization founded in 1984. Its purpose is to raise funds for the repair and preservation of the building at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Clarendon Street.
Owned since 1882 by the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BOSTON, the building is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by HENRY HOBSON RICHARDSON and is significant as his first use of the architectural style now internationally known as "Richardson Romanesque." CHARLES F. McKIM, later to become renowned as the designer of the Boston Public Library, worked on this project as a draftsman.
Construction was done by Augustus Lothrop between 1871 and 1873. The 176-foot tower is topped by four handsome friezes designed by FREDERIC AUGUSTE BARTHOLDI and carved in situ by Italian craftsmen working from plaster models. The four scenes represent baptism, communion, marriage, and death; and among the faces are likenesses of LONGFELLOW, EMERSON, HAWTHORNE, SUMNER, GARIBALDI, LaFARGE, and LINCOLN. At the four corners are angels of the judgment, with trumpets originally gilded.
The lofty interior is topped by a beamed and richly stenciled ceiling, and graced by three immense rose windows and a Louis Comfort Tiffany window, depicting the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.
The FRIENDS OF BOSTON, FIRST is a separate organization controlling its own funds. It has no expenses except a minimal amount for direct-mail promotion. All proceeds are contributed to the Church for specific projects in connection with the building. Any individual may join. The dues are $100 for life membership. Additional contributions in any amount are solicited and are tax deductible. Members receive a membership card, occasional reports of the Friends and the Church, invitations to special events, opportunities to work with other Friends, and the satisfaction of helping a unique cause.
Please mail any contributions to Mrs. Marianne Norman, c/o First Baptist Church of Boston, 110 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02116.
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