For those who have not yet heard, Holy Trinity Church, the former home of the German Catholic Community and the Traditional Latin Mass is being redeveloped into boutique condos. We posted last June that the property was up for sale, and in November we learned it had been sold, however the identity of the developer was not yet publicly available. Oddly, the archdiocese has not announced the sale price, or what will become of the millions of dollars of proceeds. Now the plans are up for approval by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. A picture of the proposed development can be found below.
Here is what has been written about the proposed plans. In “You Could Soon Live in This 19th Century South End Church” we learn:
Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc. is hoping to transform the former Holy Trinity German Catholic Church and Rectory – located at 136 Shawmut Ave. in Boston’s South End – into an eight-story structure boasting 33 residential units. (The firm is acting on behalf of owner 136 Shawmut LLC, formed out of New Boston Ventures, according to the Boston Globe.)
According to a report filed by Finegold Alexander principal-in-charge James G. Alexander with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, this particular housing development will keep the church and rectory’s exterior facade while the interior of the building will be completely demolished and rebuilt – assuming, of course, the project is approved by the BRA.
Atop the building, however, will rise a glass and steel structure that, the report notes, is expected to “blend old and new, creating a bold centerpiece for this developing neighborhood.”
Not counting the basement containing 24 parking spaces, some 57,000-square-feet of residential space could be built, more than 69,000-square-feet in total (counting the basement lot).
The BRA a held public hearing to gather community input on the project on Monday, April 27.
Regarding the “eye-popping design,” the Boston Globe reported:
“You could tear it down and start over, which would be a tragedy — you’d lose the details, the social and religious history,” said architect James Alexander, who led the building’s design team at Finegold Alexander + Associates. “But re-using it as it was, with the shape of the roof and the square footage, it just wouldn’t generate the return.”
Alexander and his team, along with New Boston Ventures, fine-tuned the design over several consultations with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Officials there asked the designers to move the front of the new structure back from the street, so the church’s central tower would remain visually prominent.
As we have said before, BCI thinks the sale and loss of this magnificent church (see pictures here) has been a great tragedy. The conversion to boutique condos would appear to now put the nail in the coffin. Any chances of this great Catholic church ever being a Catholic church and place for Catholic worship again are probably forever gone.