DOORS > JOSE MATEO BALLET THEATRE AT OLD CAMBRIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH
Architecture: 19th & 20th Centuries
Artists and Craftsmen
Immigration and Migration
José Mateo Ballet Theatre's Home At Old Cambridge Baptist Church
1867 and 1870, the Old Cambridge Baptist Church is an outstanding example of
the American Gothic Revival style of architecture. Designed by noted Boston
architect Alexander R. Esty, the building
boasts soaring 50-foot ceilings, an important collection of 19th and
20th century stained glass, expansive interior spaces and the
tallest cut-stone spire in Middlesex County. Built of local fieldstone
and granite quarried in Somerville, Massachusetts, the building is a notable
example of the muscular use of stone, typical of American Gothic Revival
architecture. This solidity, coupled with Esty’s display of structural strength
in the asymmetrical massing of forms, is further accentuated by the contrast
between heavy gray stone and large, graceful, delicate stained glass windows,
which the stone walls simultaneously reveal and protect.
In July 2000, the congregation of Old Cambridge Baptist Church and José Mateo Ballet Theatre embarked on a partnership designed to provide the ballet with space for teaching, rehearsing and performing and to pool the financial and human resources of both organizations to advance the ongoing restoration and conservation of this facility. Since 2000, phases 1 and 2 of a three-phase Renovation Project have been largely completed. Phase-3 has no defined timeline. The focus of phase-3 is the build out and equipping of The Sanctuary Theatre and internal surfaces and finishes.
Six and a half days a week, José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s dancers,
teachers, musicians and students (ages 3 – 80) fill Studio 1 (The Sanctuary
& The Sanctuary Theatre), Studio 2 (The Parrish Hall), Little Sister Studio
and Studio 4 with music and movement. On Sunday mornings, these same spaces
resonate with the praises, prayers, and preaching of the congregation. Our
shared use of spaces, for both dance and worship, is symbolic of the parallels
of the loftiest aspirations of dance, and the earthliest intent of worship.
Today, José Mateo Ballet Theatre's home at Old Cambridge Baptist Church is a vibrant place where art finds
sanctuary and worship finds studios for the practice of the arts of spiritual
Currently, the National Trust of Historic Preservation is developing a case study citing the development of José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s home at Old Cambridge Baptist Church as one of the best examples of the adaptive reuse of a House of Worship in the United States. Since its inception the project has benefited from the vision, expertise, and dedication of Brad Fellows, a Cambridge Architect.
Address: 400 Harvard Street/1151 Massachusetts
Avenue, Cambridge. MA 02138
Phone: (617) 354-7467 Website:www.BalletTheatre.org Hours: Monday – Saturday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm