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An abandoned monastery in Brighton is being transformed

Construction worker Mohmed El Bhawan passed restored stained glass windows while on a lift inside St. Gabriel’s Church.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Restoration work is well underway at the vacant St. Gabriel’s Church and monastery in Brighton Center. The monastery is a Boston Landmark Building and one of New England’s few Mission-style buildings.

The monastery, built in 1909, will host 27 new residential homes with views of the Boston skyline while the church, built 20 years later, will feature 22,000-square-feet of amenities and community space. Altogether, the space will be transformed into The Overlook at St. Gabriel’s

A construction worker on a lift works on the restoriation of the vaulted ceiling at St. Gabriel’s Church.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The renovations are a part of an 11.6-acre redevelopment project that will feature three new residential buildings, more than 7 acres of green space, and 45,000 square feet of amenities, including parks, residential lounges, and a fitness center. Plans call for 555 residential apartment units and more than 100 condominium units.


The buildings have sat vacant for more than a decade, with most of the site paved over and used for parking. St. Gabriel’s closed in 2006.

“Because of a declining number of priests, the Passionists say they are no longer able to staff St. Gabriel’s, which was their only parish in the state,” the Globe wrote at the time.

The renovations of the previously abandoned Church and Monastery are central components to the redevelopment of an 11.6-acre site which will also include the construction of three new residential buildings. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Representatives of the developer behind the project, Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, say they hope the renovation of the buildings will increase connectivity in the community through parks and refurbished public spaces.

Workers have taken special care to restore and reuse the buildings while preserving their original design elements and materials. The church’s stained-glass windows will be repaired and reinstalled and its original terrazzo flooring, along with the building’s details and fixtures, will be fully refurbished.

The project began last April and is expected to be finished by year’s end.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/David L Ryan, Globe Staff

Mohmed El Bhawan removed the protective plastic covering from the restored stained glass windows.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff