Nazareth Child Care Center

Maginnis & Walsh & Kennedy, 1952

Harleston Parker Medal, 1954

Maginnis & Walsh was known for its innovative design of religious architecture in the first half of the twentieth century, including the original collegiate gothic buildings at Boston College, where their Science Center won the Harleston Parker medal in 1926. Born in Ireland, Maginnis was influenced by the work of architect Ralph Adams Cram, a leader in collegiate and ecclesiastical design who later embraced the art deco style. Maginnis became a distinguished Gothic architect and an articulate writer and orator on the role of architecture in society. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 1948.

Nazareth was built by the Boston Catholic Archdiocese for "temporarily homeless and dependent" children, and has few traces of Gothic architecture. Its strength is in its organization. Sited on a 40-acre former estate well outside the city, its sprawling one story construction was a radical departure from the cramped multistory urban facilities of the time. A radial arrangement of 10 “cottages”, each containing five sleeping rooms with six beds to a room, flank a central two-bed infirmary, recreation center and dining rooms. Play areas occupy the outdoor space between the cottages. The central building has a monumental stone façade and tower near the entry; otherwise the buildings are subdued.

The facility is currently used by Showa, a Japanese Language and Cultural Institute, and British International School.

Sources: Jamaica Plain Citizen, JP Historical SocietyImage: