As described on the previous page, three different buildings
have provided the physical home of First Parish. There are no known extant renderings of the first meetinghouse, which was raised at the original Nehoiden Street location in 1712 and served until it burned in 1774. The second meetinghouse, at the same location, served until 1836, and is depicted in the first two pictures below. The third and current meetinghouse was constructed in 1836-37 at the Nehoiden Street location, and was moved 1.5 miles over the course of 79 days to the present location on Dedham Avenue in March 1879.
The second Meetinghouse as it probably appeared in 1774.
1862 drawing by Timothy Newell Smith, Jr.
1863 painting by Timothy Newell Smith, Jr.
The tower was added to hold the Paul Revere Bell purchased to celebrate
the 1811 Centennial. The bell was first rung on November 15, 1811, on the
eve of the Centennial Service, and on November 6, 2010, it was rung to usher in the town's Tercentennial Celebration. The Paul Rever Bell is still rung at the beginning of
Sunday morning services today.
Drawing of 3rd edifice at Nehoiden Street location;
Early photograph of 3rd edifice and surrounding buildings
at original Nehoiden Street location
Early photograph of 3rd edifice at original Nehoiden Street location
1880 -- soon after the move to the present location.
The small white object above the main door is the marble plaque that now hangs in the main hallway. Note that the twin doors were replaced by a single, central door. The Kimball School can be seen in the background
Sometime between 1888, when the original Parish Hall
was built, and 1923
By 1923, the building had been painted white. Note the top of the main steeple and the smaller steeple on the old Parish Hall, and the absence of the office wing. Compare to the next photograph.
First Parish Today
The present-day dome, dubbed by some "the Prussian Helment", replaced the square, gothic cap of the steeple in 1938. The office wing was built in the late 1940s, at which point the mini-steeple on Parish Hall was removed. The walkway follows the gentle line of the old carriage path.
Truly a Green Building
An extensive renovation of Parish Hall and the office wing
was undertaken in 2007-8. In 2010, First Parish was recognized
as one of ony six churches in the country to receive the
EPA's ENERGY STAR Rating.
Summer Solstice 2010
Ed Quinlan had to rise early to catch that most unusual of events -- direct sunlight on the North face of First Parish. The photograph has been retouched to remove parking meters and street signs.
First Parish Panel from the 1992 Needham Ecumenical Quilt
Lastly, an enlargement of the image that brought you to this page. In 1992, the various houses of worship in Needham joined together to make an ecumenical quilt honoring the contributions of the town's churches and synagogues to the richness of life in Needham. The panel representing First Parish, shown below, was stitched by ___________________.
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