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South End’s Ebenezer Baptist Church slated for redevelopment

The historic parish is vacating its longtime West Springfield Street home in hopes of raising money from a sale for a new facility in Boston

The historic church in 1961.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

The historic Ebenezer Baptist Church building at 157 West Springfield Street in the South End will be listed for sale within the next 45 days, very likely becoming the latest Boston-area house of worship to find new life as a development.

The church held its last services on Sunday, and is decamping to temporary quarters in Roxbury as it awaits the sale, per the Globe’s Jeremy C. Fox. Ebenezer hopes to use the profits from a sale to fuel construction of a more modern facility elsewhere in Boston.

The red-brick building, where the church has been since 1887, is likely to command a sizable sum, given the general value of developable parcels in Boston and the demand for sites in the South End in particular.

The neighborhood is in the midst of a decade-long run of major development, with sites as varied as the former Boston Herald headquarters, the old Quinzani Banker, and the one-time Boston Flower Market transformed.

As for the more recent church redos, perhaps the most prominent has been in the South End itself. A development team in 2017 finished a two-year conversion of the old Holy Trinity German Catholic Church and rectory at 136 Shawmut Avenue into a strikingly glassy condo with 36 luxury units. Predictably—again, it’s the modern South End—those condos have commanded princely sums on the sales market.

As for what might supplant the Ebenezer site, that remains to be seen—though its location within the neighborhood makes residential development a possibility. Stay tuned.