Boston, MA

The First Church of Christ, Scientist


In the late 1960s, The First Church of Christ, Scientist (TFCCS) retained I.M. Pei & Partners and Araldo Cossutta, Associated Architects to design the fourteen-acre Christian Science Plaza around the original church buildings and the Publishing House. This architecture team designed a new cast-in-place concrete Administration Building, Colonnade Building, and Sunday School Building interconnected by a plaza with a reflecting pool and fountain. Below the pool and plaza is a parking structure connecting the buildings. As part of our ongoing work with TFCCS, SGH investigated concrete deterioration, building envelope degradation, and leakage throughout the campus.

We helped the client by evaluating immediate concerns and developing a long-term repair strategy. Our work included the following:

  • Investigating the Administration Building (renamed 177 Huntington), Colonnade Building (renamed 101 Belvidere), Sunday School Building, and Reflecting Pool to determine the condition of the building envelope, remaining lifespan, and cause of deterioration, and structural impacts of the deterioration
  • Performing follow-up inspections to identify and track continuing deterioration and mitigate issues until long-term repairs could be implemented
  • Conducting field and laboratory testing, including visual surveys, ground-penetrating radar surveys, soundings, water testing, material sampling, petrographic and chemical analysis, and measurements of corrosion potential of embedded reinforcement
  • Developing mock-up procedures to test concrete facade repairs, evaluate repair options, and assess aesthetic impacts

Project Summary

Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Performance & Code Consulting | Structures | Applied Science & Research
Culture & Entertainment
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Condition Assessments | Preservation | Facade Inspection Ordinances | Environmental Simulations | Materials Science

Key team members

Susan  Knack-Brown
Susan Knack-Brown
Building Technology Division Head, Boston
Matthew Sherman
Matthew Sherman
Senior Principal