The Meeting House takes inspiration from the simple architecture of the area’s first colonial settlers and was fabricated using traditional materials and techniques. The precariously-positioned New England Quaker-style structure that sinks into the lawn encourages visitors to explore the area’s built environment, consider the layers of history that make up Boston’s unique landscape, and challenge notions of community.
The sculpture references two significant parts of New England history: the small house-like structure is a reminder of the thousands of displaced residents and demolished homes that resulted from the city’s elevated highway infrastructure project, and the larger house is inspired by the Pembroke Friends Meeting House, which is the oldest surviving Quaker meetinghouse in Massachusetts. Traditional meeting houses became the community centers and had the defining characteristics of simplicity, equality, peace, and togetherness. They were places where community members openly discussed local issues, conducted religious worship, and engaged in town business. The Meeting House intends to mimic these ideals, highlighting the potential for civic structures to act as gathering points where passersby can explore, question and interact, and acting as a reminder of the essentialness of social interaction and civic discourse.
Mark Reigelman’s work reevaluates the everyday, reinvigorates public space, and challenges typical urban conditions. Emphasizing research and exploration, his diverse body of work is poised between abstraction and literal representation, which he meticulously integrates into civic spaces. Reigelman studied sculpture and industrial design at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH and product design at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, UK. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.