A Lovely View of History at OMBE
From the desk of Sarah J. Rogers, LMT...
For those who have visited us at OMBE before, you know we are lucky to have a wonderful view of Copley Square. Four flights of altitude allow us to look out and down with a unique perspective, quieted and peaceful – unexpected in this busy part of our city. I thought it would be fun to share a bit of information distributed by Boston History and Architecture about just what we are looking at when we take in the view immediately outside of our Pilates and Yoga studios.
Come join us, and enjoy the view! ~ Sarah J. Rogers
H.H. Richardson, Built 1872 - 1877
James O'Gorman described Trinity as "a cultural event of the first importance in American history." The building both represents a departure of the Boston's mind from its Puritan past, and emergence of American creativity as a force in architecture. However, Trinity didn't happen for architecture's sake, it happened in no small part because of its pastor, Phillips Brooks.
Like all Romanesque architecture, Trinity is articulated with round-headed arches. The Richardsonian style draws on the strength of rusticated rock faces, with structural features like arches and lintels made of a different type of stone. Plain areas left almost unfinished are also part of the style. Deep window revels and wrought iron ornaments amplify the building's feeling of massiveness. Rounded protruding bays topped with cones, and square towers are topped with pyramidal tops are hallmarks of this style.
Richardson used bold ornamentation in ways that define sections of the building. Here on Trinity, the lower part of the building is dark, the top is red. Chevrons highlight the front protrusion of the church. A continuous band of checkerboard circles the chapel, like a belt, bringing the lower and upper sections together. Though incorporating styles from many origins, Richardson disciplined his designs. Form served function, and was often based on the careful use of ratios and symmetrical balance.
Trinity's Unusual Construction
40 years before Trinity was built the 580 acres comprising Boston's Back Bay neighborhood were tidal marsh and unable to support buildings. Turning this marsh into a fashionable neighborhood and nearly doubling the city's area makes filling the Back Bay one of America's most ambitious public works projects.
Trinity Church's main building materials are Monson granite and Longmeadow sandstone. Its tower alone weighs 90 million pounds. To support this immense weight, 4000 cedar piles were pounded beneath the water table in a ninety foot square. Unlike its neighbor The Hancock Tower which had the advantage of manufactured materials like concrete and iron piles, all the piles supporting Trinity Church are made of wood.
These piles support four granite pyramids (35 feet square, and 17 feet high) which form a "pass through" area where water rises and falls. If the wooden piles are exposed to air they would begin to rot. A pumping system measures the underground water level, and keeps it somewhere in the 17 foot range of the pyramids. The same wooden piles have supported Trinity Church since its construction.
Sarah J. Rogers, LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Sarah J. Rogers is a licensed massage therapist who received her training at the Cortiva Institute in Watertown, Massachusetts. Her practice focuses on the mind-body relationship and the usefulness of this connection not only for healing, but also for seeking balance in everyday life. Sarah brings her experience as an athlete and her compassion for mind-body health to her practice, inspiring growth and comfort in her clients. Along with massage, Sarah is now offering Active Isolated Stretching which can be done alone or in tandem with massage therapy. Employing techniques focusing on relaxation, neuromuscular therapy, stretching, myofascial release, and overall balance, Sarah will work with you to develop a treatment style that suits your needs.
"Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul is the work of the soul and good for either is the work of the other." -Henry David Thoreau.