Universalist Church on Public Square, Another Otis Wheelock Creation
Like much a good portion of Downtown Watertown and the areas between Arsenal and Court Streets, the first Universalist Church burned to the ground in the great fire of 1849. And, like many of the structures built afterwards (e.g. The Paddock Arcade, The Woodruff and Crowner Houses), the new church to grace Public Square would be designed by Otis Wheelock.
The church would be situated next to the Harris House on one side and, in later years, The Mohican Building on the other. Both the Watertown Baptist Church and the First Baptist Church that replaced it sat kitty-corner on State Street and Public Square.
The Universalist Church, like the Otis Wheelock created Watertown Baptist Church, would have a relatively short life as it would find its congregation moving into the larger, brown-stone newly erected on Washington Street where in 1906. The church would ultimately change its name to the All Souls Universalist Church. The new church would be destroyed by fire in 1984 and rebuilt on outer Gotham Street where it still resides today, known as the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church.
The church on Public Square would be razed and the Hotel LeRay was built in its place, known in later years as the Electric Building. Today, the spot is home to the Henry Keep Apartments.