A prominent Back Bay church is celebrating its new status as National Historic Landmark.
The Church of the Covenant at the corner Newbury and Berkeley streets was named a National Historic Landmark by the US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and will celebrate the recognition with ceremony and reception Sunday.
The Gothic Revival church, designed by architect Richard M. Upjohn and completed in 1867, will be the eighth church in Boston to receive the distinction, which recognizes nationally significant historic places that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States, according to the church.
Fewer than 2,600 places nationwide are National Historic Landmarks.
The Church of the Covenant, formerly the Central Congregational Church, is the largest church designed by the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co..
Arthur Femenella, a stained glass authority who was commissioned by Tiffany to survey the 42 stained glass windows at the church in 1991, wrote, “There are very few churches in the world that have interiors completely designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and none as complete or important as the Church of the Covenant in Boston.”
The design, completed between 1849 and 1896, includes 42 large stained glass windows, Byzantine-style mosaics, complex trompe l’oeil painted decoration, elaborate wood traceries and furnishings, and a massive illuminated art glass lantern that was displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, according to the church.
The church will host a presentation ceremony with the National Park Service and a reception to celebrate the distinction Sunday at noon.
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