The church was founded in 1809, at the corner of Park and Tremont Streets, atop the site of Boston’s town grain storage building, or granary. Designed by Peter Banner, the 217 ft. steeple of Park Street Church was once the first landmark travelers saw when approaching Boston; a building that Author Henry James called “the most interesting mass of bricks and mortar in America.” Homage to famed architect Sir Christopher Wren (Banner modeled the spire after St. Bride’s Church in London), Park Street Church’s lofty architecture reflects an even loftier mission of human rights and social justice. Park Street Church became known for supporting Abolitionist causes where, on July 4, 1829, a young William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first major public speech against slavery. Still active in Boston as a Congregationalist church, Park Street Church continues to hold weekly religious services. “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” was sung on the steps of Park Street Church for the first time on July 4, 1831. The Park Street Church site was formerly called “Brimstone Corner.” It may have gotten the nickname during the War of 1812 when the Congregationalists stored brimstone (a component of gunpowder) in the basement. Or perhaps it’s because old-school Congregationalist ministers preached many a “hell-fire and brimstone” sermon here.

• Church
National Historic Site (74000390)
State Historic Site (2074)
Visited: 10/23/2016