As the UUA looks for a more modern headquarters, Unitarian Universalists reflect on the symbolic meaning of its perch on Boston’s Beacon Hill.

By Richard Higgins
Spring 2013 2.15.13

When a group of Unitarian Universalists from Dallas visited Boston last spring, they were proud to see the banner of the Unitarian Universalist Association flying outside an old, red-brick, oak-paneled townhouse overlooking Boston Common and next door to the gold-domed State House. The leader of the tour, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter, minister of First Unitarian Church of Dallas, said the Texans shuddered to learn about the lack of central air conditioning at the UUA’s headquarters at 25 Beacon Street. But, while the building may not be modern, he recalled one man in the group saying, “at least there’s a there there.”

The meaning of that “thereness” is on many Unit­arian Universalists’ minds as the UUA searches for a new home. Last spring, the Board of Trustees gave its support to a plan to sell the association’s four Beacon Hill properties and buy a more modern headquarters in Boston. Not surprisingly, Unitarian Universalists see the symbolic and practical value of 25 Beacon Street differently, reflecting the ever-present creative tension over who we are and where we are headed.


Read more: : farewell, 25 beacon street?.

See more pictures. (Photo above © 2012 John Benford)

About the Author
Communications manager, Stewardship and Development, Unitarian Universalist Association.