The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boston has reversed course and decided not to build a chapel on land it purchased on Boylston Street in Brookline.
Church leaders decided that the project, which would have included the construction of an underground parking garage to accommodate the neighborhood, would cost too much, said Julie Berry, the volunteer spokeswoman for the church’s Boston stake, a regional administrative unit akin to a Catholic diocese. She said the church will begin shopping for a new location in the area.
“We are hopeful we can find something that will fit the bill perfectly,” she said. “It’s back to the drawing board.”
Here’s the press release from Berry:
BOSTON LDS STAKE CHANGES PLANS FOR BROOKLINE CHAPEL
BROOKLINE, MA – The Boston Massachusetts Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that it will not build a chapel as originally planned at its Boylston Street, Brookline, property. However, the Church will seek a different site in the area on which to build a meetinghouse.
The decision to seek a new location comes after Church leaders determined that the cost of constructing the building with underground parking was disproportional to the cost for similar facilities in other areas.
“For the price of our proposed Brookline building, we could construct several chapels elsewhere,” explains Julie Berry, director of public affairs for the Boston Stake, an ecclesiastical organization similar to a diocese. “We knew this would be a costly building, since most of our meetinghouses don’t include underground parking garages. However, what we found was that particular constraints of this location led to a steep cost differential that made the overall price of this building prohibitive. And we were determined to honor our commitment to the neighborhood to use underground parking. So that brings us to the point of looking for a new location.”
“Our need for additional worship space in the Boston area remains unchanged,” explains Kevin Rollins, president of the Boston Stake. “Our membership continues to grow, and we’re eager to bring worship services closer to our members in the Brookline area.”
Local ecclesiastical leaders and the Church’s real estate team will conduct a search for a new site. No candidate sites have yet been identified, and plans for the Boylston Street site have not yet been determined. Boston Stake leaders express their appreciation to the Town of Brookline for its assistance throughout the permit review and approval process.
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, chapels are the site of Sunday worship services, as well as additional activities during the week. For more information on Mormon worship services, please visit: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/of-chapels-and-temples-explaining-mormon-worship-services.Lisa Wangsness can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.