The Arlington Street Church was the first church constructed in Boston’s Back Bay, designed in the Georgian style by prominent Boston architect Arthur Gilman, who was also responsible for the overall Back Bay street plan. The building’s exterior is constructed entirely of New Jersey brownstone ashlar and includes architectural embellishment derived from 16th century Italian Renaissance and 18th century English sources. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Boston Landmark.
Bruner/Cott is guiding the Church through the complex planning process for a phased exterior renovation of the 160-year-old structure, beginning with an accessibility master plan and façade renovation master plan to provide the church with a long-term plan that sequences required improvements for the future. The accessibility and renovation master plan were critical in obtaining state, local, and national historic preservation agency approvals, including the Boston Landmarks Commission and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board.
The preservation approach considers the client’s desire to restore the exterior of the Church in a thoughtful and sensitive manner with long-lasting repairs and a minimum 50-year service life, while utilizing full pieces of harvested brownstone adapted for reuse in lieu of partial replacements. The restoration project comprises stone restoration of the entrance stairs, portico, steeple, and a new ramp for accessibility.
Aerial photographs courtesy of Aerial Genomics. Renderings by Bruner/Cott Architects.