Almost 130 years ago in what is now the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in front of the Park Street Church, our Founders Sarah Ida Shaw and Eleanor Dorcas Pond clasped hands and declared their eternal loyalty to Tri Delta. This site has long since held a special place in the hearts of every Tri Delta.
Now 209 years old, the church is not only an important part of Tri Delta’s history, but also a historic landmark on the Freedom Trail. Park Street Church’s contributions to the nation consist of several firsts associated with American freedom and the church’s mission of human rights and social justice.
It was where abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first major public speech against slavery in 1829, and in 1831, on the steps of the church, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” was sung for the very first time. In addition, Park Street Church is adjacent to the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of revolutionary patriots such as John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.
In 1809, the 217-foot steeple was the first landmark people saw when coming into Boston. Today, if you arrive by train, ascend the escalator of the Park Street Station and look up through the glass roof, you can see the steeple of the church slowly appearing above you. Stepping out of the station, you’ll cross Park Street to find yourself directly in front of the red brick church, staring up at the stately steeple which seems to climb forever into the heavens, casting its shadow back onto the ground.
As you stand in the shadow of Park Street Church — blocking out the buzz of traffic, people and nearby vendors — you can imagine that at this same spot our brave, bold and kind Founders founded our sisterhood on Thanksgiving Eve in 1888.
Today, the steeple of Park Street Church remains a historic landmark and a beacon in downtown Boston. However, the columns and windows of the steeple have suffered significant deterioration from recent harsh winters.
There is much work that needs to be done to restore and preserve the decorative elements of the Park Street Church steeple, and we need your help to preserve this cherished part of Tri Delta’s and America’s history.
The Park Street Church Finance and Administration (F&A) Committee and Board of Elders have determined that $500,000 is needed to make the necessary improvements to preserve this treasured landmark. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.
We are asking for your help in continuing our Founders’ dream and vision of Delta Delta Delta – almost 130 years after our founding – by donating a special gift to the Tri Delta Foundation in support of the Park Street Church steeple restoration project. It is our hope that when we celebrate our 130th Founders’ Day in November, we can look up to that refurbished steeple as a reminder of our history and the continued growth and opportunity offered by an organization dedicated to helping women live, learn and lead – with Purpose – for a lifetime.