Mary Baker Eddy Library Museum
Mary Baker Eddy Library Museum Boston Reviews
Take a break on Plaza May 27, 2012
The Mary Baker Eddy Library is dedicated to Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), a New England resident who founded The First Church of Christ, Scientist and The Christian Science Publishing Society (publisher of the secular news magazine The Christian Science Monitor). Regardless of your religious persuasion, you have to admire a woman who overcame poor health and limited options to become a pioneer in business, education, and publishing at a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote. How many of us would have the courage to go head-to-head with a publishing titan like Joseph Pulitzer when we were 87 years old? Mary Baker Eddy did when she decided to start publishing The Christian Science Monitor, which ironically has won several Pulitzer Prizes over the years.
The Library includes the Mapparium, the Hall of Ideas, the Quest Gallery, a small gift shop and a café as well as access to its collections on Mary Baker Eddy through Research and Reference Services. The Quest Gallery covers the life of Mary Baker Eddy including her achievements and ideas. It also provides a back-drop to her work with its inclusion of photos, documents, and other items related to the medical, cultural, and religious history of mid-nineteenth-century America. The Mapparium is a painted glass globe three stories high that shows the countries of the world as they were in 1935. Visitors walk across the inside of the globe via a glass bridge in the middle of the globe. While visitors are inside, a program plays to “illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.” Access to the Mapparium is available only to those taking the tour. Tours run every 20 minutes and last about 15-20 minutes. (Adults $6 / Seniors (62 & older), Students, and Children 6-17 $4 / Children under 6 are free. There is no charge to visit the Shop, Café, and Research & References Services. )
If the Quest Gallery or Mapparium aren’t of interest, you can also take a tour of the Church, which is located a very short distance across the plaza from the Library. The Church is actually two buildings – the original Romanesque style church from 1894 and a much larger Byzantine-Renaissance style Church Extension from 1906. Tours are free and last about 30 minutes. (Hours: Tues & Wed Noon-4PM / Thurs-Sat Noon-5PM / Sun 11AM-3PM. Enter through the glass doors facing Massachusetts Ave.)
Once you’ve finished touring either the Library or Museum, you might want to take some time to explore the plaza itself. It features a grassy area on Massachusetts Ave that often hosts students studying for finals or people enjoying the grass under their feet. Depending on the time of day, café tables and chairs are available in front of the Library. On the side of the plaza along Huntington Ave, there is a large reflecting pool and fountain. During the summer months, children are welcome to play in the fountain. All features of the plaza are free and open to the public.
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