UUA to purchase new Boston headquarters

The Unitarian Universalist Association will be moving to a new headquarters.

The UUA Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night, March 14, to purchase 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston. The neighborhood is known by several names—the Seaport District, the Innovation District, the Fort Point Channel, and South Boston. It is an emerging neighborhood, near the Federal Courthouse, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and the Boston Children’s Museum.

The board also authorized the subsequent sale of the UUA’s four buildings on Beacon Hill, including its historic headquarters building, 25 Beacon Street.

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Exciting News! UUA Announces its New Headquarters!

March 15, 2013

My fellow Unitarian Universalists,

I am delighted to tell you that last night the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of a new headquarters for the UUA at 24 Farnsworth Street in Boston’s Innovation District and the sale of our current Beacon Hill properties. This is truly a historic moment for our UU movement.

This new facility will reflect and promote our values and aspirations. It will allow staff to collaborate and work more closely with colleagues and constituents across the world. Visitors, committee members, and youth groups will be able to gather, meet, worship, and learn in a flexible space that is accessible to all. It will meet key environmental standards to reduce our impact on the Earth. Our movement will grow into a new era in this new space.

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Statement from the UUA Board of Trustees

“Last night, your Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees made the decision to move our Association headquarters from its long-time home on Beacon Hill to a new home in Boston’s Innovation District. We did not make this decision lightly. We did so knowing the heart of our Association is always in our covenanted communities. The administration made a compelling case for workspace suited to this collaborative age. This move will strengthen our Association spiritually, financially, creatively, and technologically. We believe the new property will become a hub of hospitality and inclusion, a place where Unitarian Universalists will deepen their connection to each other and our faith. We’re very grateful to our administration, who found a welcoming new center for our Association.

“At the close of the meeting, we shared words from our hymnal (#591) by Unitarian Universalist theologian James Luther Adams, who said of our faith: “it is a pilgrim church, a servant church on an adventure of the spirit.” That adventure calls us, one and all, to renewal of spirit, and faith in the coming day.”

Learn more about the Board here!

Board OKs Search for New Boston Headquarters – UU World

The UUA Board of Trustees signaled its support of the sale of the association headquarters at 25 Beacon Street in Boston if a new headquarters site is located. (Christopher L. Walton)

Will 25 Beacon Street in Boston remain the headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association? It’s a question the UUA Board of Trustees contemplated at its April meeting at the Beacon Hill brownstone built by the American Unitarian Association in 1927, which, along with three nearby UUA properties, is increasingly seen as unable to meet the 21st-century needs of the association.

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Read more: Board OKs Search for New Boston Headquarters – UU World.

Farewell, 25 Beacon Street?

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.

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Read more: uuworld.org : farewell, 25 beacon street?.

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