The construction of the church was ordered by Rector Phillips Brooks who was in charge of the parish. The original church burned down in the Great Boston Fire of 1872, which prompted Brooks to seek a designer for a brand new church. He is the one who influenced the commissioning of Richardson, an emerging reputable architect at the time. Richardson himself was not widely known before this particular project that was to change his reputation forever, for the better. The building came up at a time when the neo-classical architecture had emerged strongly in the post Baroque era. The Baroque era traced back to the Council of Trent of 1545 emerged out of a counter reformation in the Catholic Church against the Protestant movement at the time. It coincided with the emergence of wealth and power in the Catholic Church and colonial Europe. It was therefore an expression of the pride, opulence and power of the state and church of the era. It replaced the classical era, which insisted on functional forms and simple order of symmetry in structures. The Baroque era tended to achieve structural unity in its own seemingly asymmetrical way. In addition, it emphasized structure that appealed deeply to the emotions. something that classical architecture had frowned at.Subsequently, the emergence of the neo-classical era was therefore a kind of restoration of the old classical forms with the requisite improvisations adopted from other forms, including Baroque. The movement came out strongly in the mid to late 18th century.