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Establishment : 1809

Height : 217 feet

Architect : Peter Banner

Nickname : Brimstone Corner

Address : 1 Park St., Boston, MA 02108, USA

Timings : Sunday (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)

Denomination : Conservative Congregational

Notable Events : First Sunday School in the US (1818), first prison aid (1824), first public statement opposing slavery (1829), establishment of the Animal Rescue League etc.

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Park Street Church, Boston Overview

The tallest building in the country between 1810-1828, Park Street Church, also known as “Brimstone Corner,” in Downtown Boston is a Conservative Congregational church. Established by members of the Old South Meeting House, the church has been the site of many firsts for the country since its establishment.

Located at the corner of Tremont Street in Downtown Boston, Park Street Church was built in 1809 by Peter Banner, who was inspired by Christopher Wren’s work done on a London church. A prominent feature of this church is its steeple that stands tall at 217 feet, serving as a landmark. The church hosts regular Sunday services and is open to visitors in the summers.

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A Little About Park Street Church's History

The founding of this church at the corner of Tremont Street began in 1804 when the “Religious Improvement Society” started hosting weekly meetings involving lectures and prayers, and it was finally built in 1809, with its cornerstone being laid in May of the same year. Park Street Church was built primarily because former members of the Old South Meeting House wanted a church with orthodox Trinitarian theology.

Built by Peter Banner, the structure was inspired by a London church built by Christopher Wren and for the longest time was a landmark for those approaching the city, with the steeple being the most prominent feature. The church held its first service in January 1810, with Edward Dorr Griffin serving as its first pastor. Situated next to the Granary Burying Ground, it also came to be known as Brimstone Corner because the area was used to store gunpowder during the War of 1812.

In the year 1816, the church partnered with Old South Church in order to help the city’s poor through the City Mission Society. Moreover, throughout the years, Park Street Church has helped with the construction of several buildings, religious and educational, and has helped with numerous social causes.

What is the Significance of Park Street Church?

Apart from having been the tallest building in the United States between 1810-1828, Park Street Church has been the site of many firsts in the country. It was here that the country’s first Sunday School was established in 1818, the first public speech against slavery was delivered in 1829, the first prison aid was begun in 1824 and where the American Temperance Society, the Animal Rescue League, the Prison Discipline Society and the Boston Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P were started.

Besides the above-mentioned, the church has, since its inception, been an advocate of social justice and human rights, and has been actively involved in pushing the cause for education, anti-slavery, women’s suffrage amongst others. It has helped establish a public school, host English as a Second Language classes, support ministries for homeless people, work with crisis pregnancy centers along with providing education on the Christian faith.

Sunday Services at Park Street Church

Visitors can attend Sunday services at Park Street Church beginning 8:30 am (60 minutes); there are a total of three services that are held, with the sermon remaining the same for all three. The liturgy, on the other hand, is unique and is aimed at encouraging greater congregational participation. Moreover, the organ as well as other musical instruments provide music for the service. It is necessary for those wishing to attend to pre-register for the services.

How to Reach Park Street Church

Park Street Church in Downtown Boston is a frequently visited site since it lies on the Freedom Trail but it is possible to get here without having to walk the Trail itself. Visitors can choose to get to the church by car, Subway, bus or train. While there is no designated parking for the church, there is free as well as paid parking around; visitors can park their cars in the One Beacon Street Garage or the Boston Common Garage. The Blue, Green, Orange and Red line of the MTBA Subway, buses 111, 504, 92, SL5 and the trains Framingham / Worcester, Greenbush, Haverhill and Middleborough/ Lakeville drop visitors off nearby.

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