Trinity Church
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Architect Henry Hobson Richardson
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Location Boston, Massachusetts   map
Date 1872 to 1877   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Richardsonian Romanesque
Notes Enfronts Copley Plaza, adjacent to the Hancock Place office tower by I.M. Pei, and across from the Boston Public Library by McKim, Mead, and White.


Photo, exterior, facade across Copley Square

Photo, exterior, building front with base of Hancock Place

Photo, exterior, front corner


Site Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Lower Plan Drawing


Elevation Drawing

Upper Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing
Perspective Drawing

3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion Trinity Church Commentary

"In Trinity Church, 1872-77, the general vertical massing and polychromy revealed traces of High Victorian Gothic, but the strong geometric order and the French Romanesque ornament motifs were new. The tower would have been taller and more inventive, but structural problems due to the spongy soil of Boston's Back Bay necessitated a shorter tower. It was decided to pattern the lantern of the tower after that of the Cathedral of Salamanca, Spain, so that to many observers it seemed that Richardson had added a new style to the repertoire already in use, and that he had made reference to specific historic monuments especially desirable. Such a revivalist assessment, however, completely missed the continuity and unity based on a carefully studied plan that were Richardson's most important contributions."

— Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. p164-5.


On the east side of Copley Square, next to the Hancock Place tower by I. M. Pei, and across the open space from the Boston Public Library.

Commission won in competition.

Sources on Trinity Church

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. drawings and diagrams, p96-97.   Updated edition available at

Edward Ford. The Details of Modern Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990. ISBN 0-262-06121-X. interior photo, f2.7, p18. competition interior rendering showing construction, f2.8, p118-19.   Highly recommended for serious observers, and available at

Henry-Russell Hitchcock. The Architecture of H. H. Richardson and His Times. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1961. NA737.R5H5. perspective study drawing, f30.

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. Interior photo of Chapel, p143.

Donlyn Lyndon. The City Observed: Boston. New York: Vintage Books, 1982. ISBN 0-394-74894-8. LC 81-40199. NA735.B7L96. small photo and discussion, p163-165.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner. H. H. Richardson, Complete Architectural Works. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982. Exterior photo of Church from Copley Square, f45k, p123.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Trinity Church


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