11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
The 6th meeting house of the First Church in Cambridge, built in 1871, is a stone building at the corner of Garden and Mason Streets. The brass cockerel atop the tower overlooks the Cambridge Common and keeps a watchful eye on Harvard Yard, two blocks away. The exterior of the building illustrates the early Gothic revival period while the sanctuary interior is eclectic with Victorian, Byzantine, and contemporary elements. The stained glass windows by the Tiffany, Lafarge, and Cummings studios provide a colorful and lively environment. In the 1920s there was a major addition to the church: the Parish House with the chapel, offices, classrooms and meeting halls were added. The building is not only the focus for a worshiping congregation, but also functions as a center for the surrounding Cambridge community housing a nursery school, homeless shelter, and other compatible activities.
Most recently renovated in 2000, the sanctuary seats 450-500, including the balcony and north transept. The sanctuary features excellent acoustics, the 1972 Frobenius tracker organ, and a Kawai grand piano. The platform of the performance space is wheelchair accessible and measures approximately, 29’ x 46’, plus the south transept choral risers, which seat 35, and the apse. Architectural features include a polygonal vaulted ceiling, hardwood maple floors, gilded dome in the apse, and beautiful stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany and others. The sanctuary is used by many groups for worship, lectures, concerts, and rehearsals throughout the year.