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Old 07-23-2010, 09:37 AM   #21
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Hello, Ron!

Brookline and Boston....as well as many, many other places saw a decline in church numbers.

Brookline had a large Jewish population long before the decline began and I do not think it had any effect on the Protestant church numbers.
My family had Brookline roots going back to around 1900 and the temples and churches seemed to have grown at the same rate more or less until the late 50's when the Protestant churches saw the swing downward.
The Catholic Church numbers in Brookline went down more slowly, over a longer period of time.

What I say in my Mount Vernon Church blog introduction is true of the Brookline situation.

Brookline became more secular as did much of the northeast USA in the 60's onward and the need for so many churches vanished over time.

Living here in the UK, I see so many former Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches that are now converted to living spaces of some sort or art gallery type business spots. I think the trend was felt here as well but a bit later that in the USA.

Looking back, Brookline had some very large Catholic and Protestant churches during the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Many people may not recall it but, St. Aidan's also had school buildings and a convent that was located where the Amory Apartments are now. The land was sold around 1971 once the school(closed late 60's) and convent(I think it burned down in 1970ish??) were not in use anymore.

The street I grew up on, near St. Aidan's Church, was very Jewish and Catholic....not many Protestant families really...but by 1983 when I moved away....the Jewish familes had also moved away and many of the Catholic ones had died, they were an older generation really.
I guess the words for why all the changes in churches in Brookline....demographics and social changes.

The "Mount Vernon Church" story follows these lines, too.


Hope that helps a bit....

Keep talking!!!!

Charles

http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/

Last edited by charles65ofboston; 07-23-2010 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:56 AM   #22
Ron Newman
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Thanks for your reply. Here in Somerville, many former mainline Protestant churches have either been converted to condos, or been sold or leased to ethnic congregations (Brazilian, Haitian, Latino, even Korean). The big old Methodist church on College Ave. near Davis Square is about to become a Haitian church.

Last edited by Ron Newman; 07-23-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:17 PM   #23
Beton Brut
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

^ Same is true in East Boston, Ron. The former Star of the Sea Catholic Church hosts a Brazilian Evangelical congregation.

In re-reading this thread (thanks for bumping it, Charles), I realized I never answered this question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman View Post
At the time, converting a church into housing was an unusual and largely untried concept. I don't understand your reference to "villages".
Inspired by toby's comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobyjug View Post
I sort of recall that this development was hailed both as reuse pioneer and a high profile introduction of that "furrin" notion of condominiums into our fair village. There were probably many earlier examples of both, but the press spin of the day made it sound "daring" and "progressive".
Church Court's arrangement of living spaces around a central greenspace "feels" like a village in miniature. I may be wrong about this concept for condo development finding its inspiration on the Northern California coast. In any event, it's a good concept, humanely scaled, and executed with good materials. I don't love Gund's PoMo idiom (but I suppose that's my problem).
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #24
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

^^ I think you may be over thinking this.

"introduction of that "furrin" notion of condominiums into our fair village" = some of the first condo developments in Boston.

At least, that's how I read it.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:28 PM   #25
Beton Brut
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Quote:
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^^ I think you may be over thinking this.
You're probably right, statler. And I can't promise that this'll be the last time...
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:29 PM   #26
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

^^There are far worse crimes in the world.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:31 PM   #27
Ron Newman
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

A bike tour I led last year featuring Somerville's historic churches. The Catholic parishes have mostly survived unchanged, as has the synagogue. It's our Protestant churches that have often been converted to condos or sold or leased to ethnic congregations.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:48 PM   #28
Beton Brut
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Interesting event, Ron. In looking at the catalog, Somerville's St. Anthony of Padua bears stunning resemblance to St. Lazarus in Orient Heights, built around the same time.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:44 AM   #29
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Ron, I am very impressed with the bike tour you did....super booklet as well!!!
I wish I had be able to go along...I am not as familiar with the churches in this area outside of Boston as I should be.

It does seem very true that the Protestant churches have had the BIG hit as far as loss of congregations and buildings being sold, etc.
The last decade has seen a decline in Boston area Catholic churches with the downsizing, though as you say, not as large a change as seen by the Protestant denominations.

One could get a bit theological at this stage...if one felt a desire to:-)
In my observations from living in Boston-Brookline for over 20 years and then north in Concord, NH. for nearly 10 years before moving to the UK, the mainline Protestant churches struggled in the 60's and 70's to bring in the flocks for a variety of reasons.
Minds were open to "new age" thinking and some Protestant churches grasped on to the new wave of thinking about all things spiritual and tried to move with the times. Most New England Protestant churches seemed to encourage some free thinking and were open to new ideas about all things religious. In some churches, the older and less flexible of the congregations fled to more stable(in their minds), safer Biblical based churches with little or no changes in views such as the evangelical groups.
Others just stopped going because it seemed like a dated tradition and Sunday was too important to clutter with church in the morning. So numbers dropped and in time, the churches who tried to find balances with old and new seemed to hang-on and....many, as I have said, merged with others or closed due to lack of funds and flocks.
The Boston area has always been flush with the "too many churches" problem.
Old city wealth and the many flavors of religion built the numerous church buildings we see today but with those big shifts and "changes" I spoke of from the 50's onward, the need for the great number of buildings dropped quickly.
So many factors really....makes your head spin:-)

Have a look at the new blog if you can. I do think that as I post the history of Mount Vernon Church from 1842- 1970, you will see some of the above issues being raised in its own history as early as the late 1800's.


Thanks to all the thread readers and contributors!!

Charles

http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #30
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Hello, All!
I have updated my Mount Vernon Church of Boston blog and have posted part one of a history lecture as presented for the 125th anniversary celebrations held in May 1967.

I have also added a few photos, too!

Come and see

http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/


Charles....
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:40 AM   #31
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Hello, All!

I just posted part two of the 1967 history lecture about the church.
I have also added a few photos.

Come and see:-)

http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/


Charles
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:08 AM   #32
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Hello, All!!!
Part 3 of the 1967 church history lecture is up on the blog along with a few classic photos and some neat newspaper clippings about the "new" church on Beacon Street. Come and enjoy!!


Charles

http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/



charles65ofboston@yahoo.com
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:23 AM   #33
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Hello, All:-)

I just updated the Mount Vernon Church blog and added more photos and articles from the history of the church for the years 1933- 1947.
These years were the "boom" years of the 20th century for the church.



Please have a look:-)


http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/


Charles

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Old 04-01-2011, 10:23 AM   #34
charles65ofboston
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Re: Mount Vernon Church of Boston, Mass.

Hello, All!
I have just posted another section of "Mount Vernon Church of Boston" history covering the period from 1947 to the summer of 1958.

I have included many ads, articles and photos from this part of its history.

Come and have a look:

http://historicmountvernonchurchofboston.blogspot.com/


Charles:-)

charles65ofboston@yahoo.com
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