Tremont Temple – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Tremont Temple

The site where Charles Dickens gave his first public reading of "A Christmas Carol" in the US. 


Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is exactly the kind of story you’d like to be told out loud, and the author did exactly that across Europe and America. The first time he read it in public in the United States occurred on December 2, 1867, at the Tremont Temple in Boston.

Originally called the Tremont Theatre when it opened in 1827, the building was bought in 1843 by a Baptist group, renamed The Tremont Temple, and used for religious observances. However, over its history as a church, it was still utilized for various public events such as plays, movies, exhibits, and speeches.

In 1852, the Tremont Temple burned down and had to be rebuilt. It happened again in 1879, a little over a decade after Dickens’ reading, and then again in 1893. The current version of the Tremont Temple was built in 1896 and stands in the same spot as the original, which today is right on the Freedom Trail. It’s a massive, golden stone edifice that is still actively used as a church and, like its predecessors, seats a couple thousand.

Adapted with Permission from The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

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