Maparium - Christian Science Center, Boston
One of the things that strikes me about Boston is its unique architecture. One of the most impressive buildings I have seen here is "The Mother Church" located at the Christian Science Plaza. The world headquarters for the First Church of Christ the Church was founded in 1879 and publishes the Christian Science Monitor.
Take a stroll inside and view its beauty, also pay a visit to the Mapparium, an enclosed globe shaped room with stained glass windows.
Also located in the Science Plaza is the reflecting pool who's architecture was none other than I.M. Pei.
I really liked this place. I came here during the spring. It was so much better than I thought it would be and am very glad we didn't decide to skip it. It is costly for what it is. But it is something I will return to just to see again.
Inside the quick 15 minute tour you are inside a globe that has had the world of 1935 imprinted in reverse on the inside so it appears correct. This is one of the things I highly recommend you go and see and do while in Boston.
Once I came here, I didn't want to leave. This place is beautiful. My friend, Tim, and I came here a few times during my last summer here. It was because of Tim that I was able to enjoy so many of Boston's fabulous attractions from a different point of view. The reflecting pool is defianately a must see.
You don't have to be a member of the church to enjoy a tour of this phenomenol complex.
Tuesday: 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thursday/Friday/Saturday: 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For tours enter the Church through the large, glass-domed doors which face Massachusetts Ave.
The Christian Science Center of Boston is the Christian Science world headquarters. The complex in located on 14-acres between Boston's Back Bay and South End neighborhoods. Buildongs to see include the Mother Church, the 28-story church administration building, and the Sunday School building. The complex also houses the offices of Monitor Radio and The Christian Science Monitor (on-line at http://www.csmonitor.com). These news services are international in scope and have won many media awards.
Back in the 7th grade I went on a class trip to Boston and one of the sights that stands out in my memory is the Maparium located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library in the Christian Science Center. It is a huge stained glass globe designed by Chester Lindsay Churchill and constructed between 1932 and 1935. There is a walkway that goes through the center of the globe for viewing from the inside with a brief audio and light presentation. Countries have changed a lot since the time of constuction. It is interesting to look at this globe and see how the world once was.
No pictures are allowed in the Maparium (well i guess they were 15 years ago, but as of my recent trip they were not)
The Christian Science Center is a really beautiful building. After we visited the Maparium we wandered around it. There is a large reflecting pool which captures the Prudential and other nearby buildings as well as the center and it's Chapel. At the end of the pool is a wonderful fountain which is at pavement level, you can, and are encouraged to walk right in. We had fun getting inside without getting wet, but I'm sure on a hot day it would be a welcome relief! The fountain does not run all day though, when we walked past it later on it had been shut off.
One of the most visually stunning buildings in Boston is The Mother Church located at Christian Science Plaza. The church is the world headquarter of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, a Christian movement which believes in spiritual healing. The Church, founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy, publishes the the well-known Christian Science Monitor.
The Mother Church's impressive appearance is a combination of the Romanesque original edifice and a Renaissance- and Byzantine-influenced extension. A large reflecting pool extends the length the church. The wide-open, airy plaza is a stark contrast to the crowded skyline nearby. The church complex is almost a piece of Europe in the heart of Boston.
You can go inside and stroll on a glass walkway that takes you inside a stained-glass globe. Entrance is gratuitous.
At the Christian Science Plaza and adjacent to The Mother Church, this building was designed by I.M. Pei. Incidentally, the famed architect leaves many marks in Boston, including the John Hancock Tower and the JFK Library. In neighboring Cambridge there are 4 I.M. Pei-designed buildings on MIT's campus.
Driving or walking along Massachusetts Avenue you will pass these beautiful buildings established by Mary Baker Eddy which are part of the large Christian Science Plaza which takes up the block bounded by Belvedere Street and Huntington Ave.
We did not enter these buildings but admired their construction.
A trip to the Mappararium is fun because it is unique adventure. It is amusing for adults and kids. The glass bridge is an illuminated spherical space where visitors can consider how ideas have expanded and shaped the world over time.
On First Night, Boston's New Year's Eve festival, all kinds of locations are open to those with a special pin, so we took the opportunity to visit a few unfamiliar places. The Mapparium was one of those things.
The Mapparium, in the Mary Baker Eddy library building (part of the Christian Science complex), is a 30-foot tall stained glass globe, constructed in the mid-1930's, which you can walk right through.
Although the globe has been renovated and has a fancy modern lighting system that minimizes damage, it still reflects the world as it was when the globe was built - so most of Africa, for example, consists of colonies.
The strangest effect of all, though, is the sound: everything you say is amplified and bounces back to your ears as if there are microphones everywhere, while it's impossible to tell who else is talking despite the fact that they sound like they're speaking right into your ear!
This rather grand building slap bang in the middle of Boston was built in 1894 and is the central building for the celebration of the Christian Science faith founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1864. The whole complex is deeply impressive - a huge plaza containing not only the church and Mapparium (see above) as well as public fountains,
I had seen a small segment on the Mary Baker Eddy Library and Museum on a Sunday morning show. The focus was on the Mapparium and a song that was recorded in the Mapparium called "Big Blue Earth". I knew I had to go. This is the "home" of the Christian Science Church. (I am NOT a Christian Scientist and I want to assure you that in no way will there be any religious pressure.) My two favorite places here were the Mapparium and the Hall of Ideas. The Mapparium is a "globe" in which you walk on plexi-glass into the "middle of the world" which is all in stain glass. You are looking at the world from the inside out. As you take in the beauty, you will hear famous quotes from many of our great world leaders on their search for peace. If they don't play it, ask them to play "Big Blue Earth". You won't be sorry. There is a free download of the song on the website. The Hall of Ideas, has a fountain with words made of light streaming out of the fountain and on to the floor and then up on to the wall. Very cool. Even the teenagers liked it
I never went inside but it does look inviting from the outside.
After a walk from North End along the Cambridge River crossing the bridge and back and taking in two buildings of ART I needed a break.
I headed for the Pru to view Boston from on high take in the Library and lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Then tackle Boston Common. Shop for Cowboy Boots and walk back to North Station.
Next Day was for the JFK Library. Harvard which both are on your Boston Pass Harvard replacing Isabella Stewart. Which is a Pity!
Part of the Christian Scientist Complex (which is huge) in the middle of Boston, the Mapparium is quite extraordinary. Built in 1935, you basically walk into the middle of a stained glass world globe. On a suspended walkway just below the Equator, you see in glorious sensurround the human geography of the continents as per 1935. The voice-over introduction may be a bit on the gooey side, but its certainly an enthralling half-hour.
I didn't go here, but from what I've read, it has the largest pipe organ in the western hemisphere and the architectural design is modeled after St. Peter's in Rome. The grounds are impressive. On my recent trip to Boston (September 2005), I walked by the main church on my way to the Museum of Fine Arts and took the second picture here.