Sanctuary


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In 1907, the Boston architectural firm of Cram and Ferguson was commissioned to design the building for a newly merged congregation known as The House of Hope Presbyterian Church, a joining of House of Hope and The First Presbyterian Church. Ralph Adams Cram, who was the foremost Gothic revival architect of his day, was commissioned to draw the plans. The sanctuary design employs a variety of Christian symbols, including the cross shape of the sanctuary itself. In order to allow walls thin enough for stained glass, flying buttresses must support the walls. Cram and Ferguson were cited in an architectural digest of the time for their revolutionary plan that incorporated the flying buttresses within the sanctuary, thus allowing the ceiling to span separate banks of pews. The sanctuary was completed and the cornerstone laid in 1914. In the original plan, the windows on the east side of the sanctuary are New Testament windows, and the ones on the west are Old Testament windows. The newest stained glass windows, designed and executed by the well-known artist Rowan LeComte, are in the chancel. In these windows, the four seasons are celebrated with portrayals of composers and poets.

The Merklin Organ, which is in the chancel, was built in 1878 for the St. Laurent Church in France. It was acquired by the church and completely restored by C.B. Fisk, Inc., in the 1980's. In 1979, The House of Hope dedicated its new pipe organ, designed and built by C.B. Fisk, Inc. of Gloucester, Massachusetts. At the time of its installation in the balcony of the main sanctuary, the organ was the largest mechanical action organ built in the United States in the twentieth century.

The House of Hope has welcomed a variety of notable speakers to our pulpit, including Kofi Annan, Vaclev Havel, Madeleine Albright and Bill Moyers. The public is always invited to attend worship and education events held at the church.