First Church of Christ, Unitarian

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First Church of Christ, Lancaster
Lancaster Unitarian Church, Lancaster, MA.jpg
First Church of Christ Unitarian: Its Fifth Meeting House designed by noted architect Charles Bulfinch, built 1815-1817.
Location Lancaster, Massachusetts
Built 1816
Architect Charles Bulfinch
Architectural style Other, Federal
Governing body Private
Part of Center Village District (#77000198)
NRHP Reference #


Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 30, 1970
Designated NHL December 30, 1970[2]
Designated CP September 15, 1977

The First Church of Christ, Unitarian, also known as First Church of Christ, Lancaster and colloquially as "the Bulfinch Church", is an historic congregation with its meeting house located at 725 Main Street facing the Common in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The church's fifth meeting house, built in 1816, was designed by noted architect Charles Bulfinch, and is a National Historic Landmark.


Meeting House (1815), Lancaster, Massachusetts.jpg

First Church of Christ was "gathered in 1653 by the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony."[3] The town of Lancaster also dates from 1653. The current meeting house was built in 1816 of local brick and slate when Nathaniel Thayer was minister.

On December 30, 1970, the meeting house was added to the National Register of Historic Places[3] and designated a National Historic Landmark.[2] Architectural historian G. E. Kidder Smith has called it "one of the great federal style churches in the country."[4]

In May 2010, the Church began a restoration of the meeting house cupola and facade supported by contributions from the Bulfinch Fund, a secular organization dedicated to restoring Bulfinch's works.[5] Formerly a Congregational church, it is now Unitarian Universalist. The Reverend Robert Johansen is its current minister.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "First Church of Christ, Lancaster". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  3. ^ a b First Church of Christ Unitarian website
  4. ^ G. E. Kidder Smith, Sourcebook of American Architecture: 500 Notable Buildings from the 10th Century to the Present (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), p. 160. ISBN 1568980256
  5. ^ Restoration begins Worcester Telegram and Gazette, May 19, 2010

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°27′19.6″N 71°40′23.0″W / 42.455444°N 71.673056°W / 42.455444; -71.673056