Boston – Back Bay: Trinity Church – Stained Glass Window
Image by wallyg
Trinity Church’s stained glass collection is one of the finest in the nation with examples from most of the major American and European stained glass stuios of the nineteenth century. With the exception of one window, the church contained only clear glass windows at tits consecration. Twenty four figurative windows followed within five years. Today thirty-six windows line the walls of Trinity church, including four designed by Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris and another four designed by John La Farge, who used a revolutionary style of layering opalescent glass.
Trinity Church, at 206 Clarendon Street, was built from 1873 to 1876 by Henry Hobson Richardson. The Episcopal parish, founded in 1733, originally worshipped on Summer Street until it was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1872. Under the direction of Rector Phillips Brooks, Hobson was commissioned to design a replacement in Copley Square. Trinity Church helped establish Richardson’s reputation, becoming the birthplace and archetype of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, characterized by a clay roof, polychromy, rough stone, heavy arches, and a massive tower.
The building’s plan is a modified Greek Cross with four arms extending outwards from the central towner, which stands 211 ft tall. Situated in Copley Square, which was originally a mud flat, Trinity rests on some 4500 wooden piles, each driven through 30 feet of gravel fill, silt, and clay, and constantly wetted by a pump so they do not rot if exposed to air. Its interior murals, which cover over 21,500 square feet were completed entirely by American artists. Richardson and Brooks decided that a richly colored interior was essential and turned to an at the time unknown John La Farge.
In 2007, Trinity Church was ranked #25 on the AIA 150 America’s Favorite Architecture list.
Trinity Church National Register #70000733 (1970)