Cambridge – Harvard Square: First Church of Christ, Scientist

Cambridge – Harvard Square: First Church of Christ, Scientist
Church Christ
Image by wallyg
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at 13 Waterhouse Street, was designed in 1917 by church member Giles M. Smith of the noted Boston architectural firm of Bigelow and Wadsworth (later Bigelow, Wadsworth, Hubbard and Smith), who patterned it after Thomas Jefferson’s The Rotunda at the University of Virginia and the Pantheon in Rome. Due to cost constraints, the 6-story domed building was built in two phases between 1924 and 1930. The dome itself was designed and built by the noted Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company. Guastavino used its patented tile arch system consisting of Akoustolith, a porous ceramic material resembling stone, on the interior, with limestone on the exterior. The first services in the completed building were held on April 30, 1930, and after becoming debt free, it was dedicated on May 23, 1937. First Church of Christ, Scientist is still located in the building and is still an active branch of the Christian Science Mother Church.