Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2006 Preservation Award Winners
Gate of Heaven Church - Boston (South Bostonl)
Gate of Heaven Church

Rehabilitation & Restoration

The Gate of Heaven Church dominates its South Boston neighborhood. Built between 1896 and 1912 in the Gothic Revival style, it was designed by architect A.P. Ford and is considered one of the more elaborate churches in Boston. Among its many decorative elements are stained glass windows from Westlake Studios in London, Roman brick with brownstone trim, and a slate roof.

Because the church had had no major repairs since the 1950s, it required extensive restoration that carried a $5 million price tag. With the support of the Boston Archdiocese, the parishioners rallied to raise the money to restore the building’s original features.

When historic brick could not be recycled from elsewhere in the building, new, custom bricks were used. The stained glass window was cleaned and waterproofed and the wood window tracery repaired. The copper spire was repaired and lit. The interior of the church was also restored to its original color scheme and the decorative plaster was repaired. In addition to these restorations, the church was made fully accessible with the installation of an elevator and sensitively designed accessible rear entrance. The church also converted an asphalt parking lot between the church and the school into a small park.

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