Return to Current Exhibit
Christopher Kelly, Director
Upon entering the museum one can see a large, beautiful, pillared, Terrazzo floored exhibit hall. Visitors must be advised that this is merely the Foyer and they must procede futher to see the main exhibit hall. Beyond the next doors sits one of the worlds largest and grandest exhibit halls with multiple levels of lights and a lit canopy arching across the entire expanse of the former sanctuary.
The congregation of the First Church of Christ, Scientist commissioned Chicago architect, Solon S. Beman to design the building at 220 North Street. Construction was completed in 1911. The Christian Scientists occupied the building until the early 1980s, followed by a succession of Baptist congregations, until it was purchased by the Museum in December 2003. In order to accommodate the manuscript displays, some changes were made to the interior of the sanctuary space. Some of the pews were removed in order to build and install a level hardwood stage. Much of the interior of the building has been replastered and repainted. Significant roof and gutter repairs were required to insure the integrity of the interior as well. The building formally opened to the public as the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in the Summer of 2006. ARCHITECTURE The style of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum on North Street is Greek Revival, characterized by a six-columned Greek temple style portico, fluted ionic columns and decoratively paned windows.