CAMPAIGN TO RESTORE THE MEETINGHOUSE INTERIOR
A LIVING LANDMARK
In colonial New England, the meetinghouse was the focal point of the community, where residents gathered to engage with each other and conduct the business of their civic life.
Our project reclaims the meetinghouse's role for the 21st century.
An historic jewel with particular significance to our neighborhood, the Meetinghouse is not a monument. Rather, it serves as a community landmark, and a living and breathing laboratory for art, civic engagement, and social action.
As one of Roxbury’s largest gathering spaces, the rehabilitated First Church in Roxbury Meetinghouse will serve to amplify the artistry and cultural vibrancy of our neighborhood by hosting cross-cultural dialogue and celebration, concerts, lectures and political forums.
With support from foundations and generous individuals, the UU Urban Ministry has raised and expended $2 million on restoring and painting the exterior and improving the surrounding landscaping. As exterior work nears completion, we are turning our attention inside to truly respond to our community’s call for improvements.
Together, we are ushering in a new era for the Meetinghouse as a center of arts, education, and civic programming in the heart of Roxbury.
Check out this teaser video about the Meetinghouse campaign from our partner architectural firm, Dream Collaborative.
Please partner with us by contributing to our $2.8 million capital campaign.
JOIN US IN BUILDING COMMUNITY
European settlers gather to worship in what is now John Eliot Square.
The UU Urban Ministry becomes steward of the First Church in Roxbury.
Renovations begin to the Meetinghouse exterior, addressing decades of deferred maintenance.
Fundraising to complete the restoration of our historic gates and driveway is completed. A generous gift to fund the preservation of the historic Hook & Hastings organ is received and restoration begins.
The restored historic Hook & Hastings organ returns to the Meetinghouse and work on the interior is planned to begin in late-spring.
The current Meetinghouse -- the 5th on this site -- is constructed, making the First Church in Roxbury the oldest surviving wood-frame church in Boston.
The UU Urban Ministry constructs a new addition, the Education and Justice Center, and moves operations and programming to Roxbury.
UUUM initiates a strategic planning process focused on leveraging our campus to amplify the work of Roxbury-based artists, performers, and historians of color. Artists, neighbors, preservationists, and collaborators share their visions for the transformed space in a series of listening sessions.
Campaign begins to restore Meetinghouse interior.
MEETINGHOUSE SPOTLIGHT: HISTORIC GRAFFITI
When you climb the old wooden ladders towards the bell tower that are behind the organ in the Meetinghouse and come to the second and third floor, the walls are covered with graffiti from those who have done work on the building since the early 1800's. Below are a few examples of this historic graffiti.