Congregational House

Congregational House was built in 1898 as a headquarters for the Congregational churches and to provide space for their historical library. Designed by the architectural firm Shepley, Ruttan, and Coolidge, 14 Beacon Street is on the National Register of Historical Places, and part of the Park Street Historic District.

The exterior façade includes four marble bas reliefs illustrating the core values of the Congregational tradition: Religious Freedom, depicted by the Pilgrims' observance of the Sabbath on Clark's Island on December 20, 1620; Equality Under the Law, showing the Pilgrims signing the Mayflower Compact; Education, the founding of Harvard College in 1636; and Philanthropy, signified by a tableau of John Eliot preaching to Native Americans in the settlement in Nonantum in 1642. All the bas reliefs are done in Knoxville marble, known for its delicate pinkish gray hue. The artist, Domingo Mora, also worked on the exterior of the Boston Public Library.

On the second floor, the library's Reading Room is a beautifully-appointed space for researchers, with windows overlooking Boston's famous Granary Burial Ground. The adjoining conference room was named in honor of S. Brainard Pratt, a Bible collector and generous benefactor of the Library. Originally known as the "Biblearium," the Pratt Room still houses portions of Pratt's internationally known collection of Bibles and curiosities, as well as relics from the Scrooby church in England (former home of the Plymouth Pilgrims) and a piece of Plymouth Rock.

When the majority of Congregational churches merged to form the United Church of Christ in 1957, most of the building's original tenants moved to new denominational headquarters in New York City and later Cleveland. Congregational House continues its mission of service to the community by providing affordable space for a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations.