Horticultural Hall, at the corner of Huntington Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts is the third hall built for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. It sits across the street from Symphony Hall. Since 1992, it has been owned by the Christian Science Church.
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, founded in 1829, is the oldest, formally organized horticultural institution in the United States. It has built and occupied a series of halls, including the first on School Street (1845), the second on Tremont Street (1864), this third hall (1901), and its current home at the Elm Bank Horticulture Center, located on the town lines of Wellesley and Dover (2001).
The third Horticultural Hall, shown at right, was designed in the Beaux Arts style in 1901 by architects Wheelwright and Haven on land purchased by the Society. (This firm also designed the whimsical Harvard Lampoon Castle in Cambridge, Massachusetts.)
When the Hall was dedicated in 1901, thousands of members and visitors attended its ten-day opening, during which time the hall was filled with amaryllises, azaleas, geraniums, gloxinias, jasmine, trumpet lilies, palms, rhododendrons, wisteria, and a collection of 1,000 orchids, the finest collection gathered in America to that time.
The building's larger lecture hall could seat 300. It was home to many organizations including the Benevolent Fraternity Fruit and Flower Mission, the Wildflower Society, the Garden Club Federation (whose founding in 1927 was organized by the Society), the Boston Mycological Club, the New England Gourd Society, the New England Gladiolus Society, and the Herb Society of America. The building was renovated in 1984, and sold to the neighboring Christian Science Church in 1992.
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