Beginning in the Summer of 2011, the Redevelopment process had effectively been on hold while a lawsuit wended its way through the Commonwealth’s court system. This case had been filed by a small number of neighbors who opposed the project as it had been approved by the City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Historical Commission and the MA Historical Commission.  In late August of 2013, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts dismissed their case. (Judge Dickey's dismissal is posted HERE) The formal appeals period has passed and nothing has been filed.  In all likelihood, this legal avenue is closed. This means that the developer for the Redevelopment Project – Oaktree Development LLC –with St. James alongside, have leapt over another hurdle. We hope to see progress soon and will report it here!

Opportunities for Redeveloping Our Property

St. James's Episcopal Church is embarking on a new phase in its long, storied and vibrant history. The Vestry of the parish, a specially formed Redevelopment Committee, and paid consultants have evaluated the possibility of redeveloping the St. James's property with our neighbors to the west, the Car Wash. We have concluded and affirmatively voted as a parish that partnering with Oaktree Development, the new owners of the Car Wash property, is in the best interests of the parish.

This web page is designed to help the parish and anyone interested on the Redevelopment process. Please read through the page and click on any of the attachments. If you have any questions, please contact Senior Warden Anne Read.

A Letter from Bishop Shaw (Download pdf)


Where We've Been: A St. James's Property Timeline

1864 - Rented upstairs room in Atwill’s Hall on corner of Russell Street

1865 - Rented upper rooms of Porter’s Hotel

1866 - Rented old Bank Building

1870 - Bought plot of Beech Street

1871 - St. James chapel built and consecrated

1876 - St. James’s Chapel, Newbury Street, Somerville, started

1881 - Purchased land for Parish House

1884 - Parish House completed

1885 - “Corner Lot” purchased

- Davenport Tavern moved to 81 Eustis Street
- Mrs. Mary Greenleaf offers to pay for chancel of new St. James Church
- Ground broken for new church

1889 - New St. James’s church opened

1892 - New property purchased north of chapel

1912 - Enlargement of parish house

1915 - “Parsons Lot” purchased and old stable removed

1918 - “Knights Garden” planted following plan by Cambridge City planner Mr. John Nolan

- New heating system installed
- Chapel deconsecrated
- “The Bungalow” property purchased and later sold to current owner

1948 - Rectory purchased in Belmont

1958 - Original chapel torn down

1959 - New addition added to parish house

1980’s - Knights Garden renovated

2008 - Redevelopment opportunity with adjacent property

Where We Could Go Next: An Image of the Redeveloped Property

St. James's existing property (click to enlarge)

Proposed development (click to enlarge):


Development Plans: Download PDF

A Prayer for St. James's in a Season of Discernment

Tom Brackett, Program Officer for Church Planting and Redevelopment at the Episcopal Church national office, wrote this prayer for St. James's, based on Genesis 32:24-31, the story of Jacob wrestling the angel and getting his new name, "Israel," "God perseveres."

O Breath of God,
You moved on the face of the waters and created order out of chaos . . .
Calm our hearts that we may hear you!
You who spoke light into darkness and pushed the shadows aside . . .
Drive out our fears and make your face to shine upon us!
You who wrestled with Jacob and marked him as your Israel . . .
Dance with us in our clumsiness and teach us your ways!
We are only what you make of us – so we give ourselves to you.

We have only what you've given us – so we give it all back to you.
We become only what you dream for us – as we learn . . .
and over
and over again,
to say "Yes!"
to You . . . the One
who wrestles and dances
and creates and comforts
and dreams with us –
with this world –
with all that ever has been and ever will be,

(written for The Reverend Holly Lyman Antolini and the Vestry of St. James's Episcopal Church, Cambridge during this season of discernment on October 6th, 2008)