Beacon Street Diary blog

History, in two and three dimensions

Member profile: Carolyn Sundquist

It has been cold and snowy here in Boston and across much of the United States, but at least one of our members has relished the wintry weather. When we caught up with Carolyn Sundquist, she was headed out for her Monday morning ice skating session in Duluth, Minnesota. She was happy to have the chance to talk about her interest in the Congregational Library & Archives, and the many reasons why she values her membership.

One reason dovetails with her deep involvement in architectural preservation. Carolyn lives in a home built in 1911 and occupied by her family since 1921. Her success at preserving her own home, and later public buildings, evolved into a passion for historic preservation public policy and advocacy. "Architectural preservation is history in 3-D," says Carolyn.

As Carolyn points out, the Congregational Library & Archives is an historic building in an historic district within the historic city where Congregationalism took root. The library building on Beacon Street is as much a part of history as the records within it.

Carolyn's preservation interests also touch on church buildings across the country, which were extremely important to the development of individual communities across the country. The buildings provided a physical place for people to gather and plan the life of the community. "Congregational history goes hand in hand with the preservation of the Library and church buildings," says Carolyn.

The Congregational Library & Archives is also a repository of more traditional 2-D history. Some of that history involves Carolyn's family, which has been Congregationalist for (at least!) five generations. Carolyn's parents and grandparents were instrumental in the beginning of the NACCC, and she grew up attending Pilgrim Fellowship meetings at the annual NACCC meetings. Carolyn has taken her active involvement in her own Duluth Congregational Church to a national level. Over the last twenty years, she has been part of the Congregational Church Development Committee and for the past twelve, she has served on the board of the Congregational Foundation. She steps down as its president later this year.

Carolyn understands why history matters. "When you understand the development of the past, you can understand the actions of the present and formulate policies for the future."

Members guarantee the future for the Congregational Library & Archives, its historic building, and the history it contains. Members will keep it open for many cold winters to come. Please join Carolyn.



Great article!  I've

Great article!  I've personally experienced Carolyn's enthusiasm, warmth, and kindness, but never knew all all the rest she's contributed more broadly.  And I agree, preserving our past is critical to planning for the future.  Thanks for sharing.