The Museum of Modern Renaissance has found a perfect place to call home at 115 College Avenue in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The building is remarkable not just for the murals that cover its interior and facade, but also for its rich history and connection to a multitude of spiritual traditions.

History of the Land

The museum sits on land of historical significance. Steps away, the powder house of Nathan Tufts Park played a pivotal role in the American War of Independence. 

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The Building as a Church

Unitarians built the original structure on this site. Their mission was to serve their community, and to open their doors to others. 

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 Above, Nathan Tufts Park and the Powder House, steps from the museum

Above, Nathan Tufts Park and the Powder House, steps from the museum

 

The Building as a Fraternal Lodge

First the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and then the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons called the hall home over the course of the twentieth century. Both orders actively served the community while there. 

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The Building as Museum of Modern Renaissance

In 2002, Russian-born artists Nicholas Shaplyko and Ekaterina Sorokina bought the building and transformed it into their shared artistic vision.  

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 The museum's entryway 

The museum's entryway 

For more information on the history of the museum building, please contact Dee Morris, who provided much of this content

Notes:

Articles from The Somerville Journal and The Somerville Reporter

City of Somerville Annual Reports and brochures

Documents and Plans from the South Middlesex Registry of Deeds

The Sanborn Insurance Maps

Various directories of the City of Somerville