Skip to main content

On the Cover

SGI-USA New England Buddhist Center

Photo by Damianos Photography.

Ikeda Sensei visited the former SGI-USA Boston Center in 1991—a much smaller center on Harcourt Street—and noticed a large clock in the main Gohonzon room. He encouraged the members to develop the fortune to have a big community center befitting the clock. Three decades later, that clock is now displayed prominently in the main Gohonzon room of the SGI-USA New England Buddhist Center.[1]

Once an office building and then an art institute, 303 Boylston Street was adapted and transformed into the New England Buddhist Center. Prior to its renovation, some locals called it the “Darth Vader building” for its dark and imposing appearance. The renovation gave the building a light and inviting presence, reflective of the SGI-USA’s mission.

The exterior masonry was upgraded to an off-white color that appears to change subtly with the time of day. Vertical louvers lend an undulating appearance to the street side facade. Transitioning to the inside, a redesigned entrance and sky-lit atrium bring natural light deep into the center and guide members and guests to the main Gohonzon room on the second floor.[2]

Since the reopening, the center has welcomed hundreds of members and guests from throughout New England, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and upstate New York. The center is located in Brookline, Massachusetts, which is the birthplace of John F. Kennedy Jr. and is a short ride on the “T” from the heart of Boston. Brookline borders six Boston neighborhoods: Brighton, Allston, Fenway-Kenmore, Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury.

When giving guidance about New England as the birthplace of the American Renaissance, Sensei expressed his wish and conviction that members in New England will “from this same soil, stir up the winds of renaissance for the 21st century and spread it throughout the rest of the United States and the entire world.”[3]

From the September 2023 Living Buddhism


  1. October 21, 2016, World Tribune, p. 4. ↩︎
  2. Architect Magazine, “SGI New England Buddhist Center,” October 25, 2018,, <accessed July 14, 2023>. ↩︎
  3. My Dear Friends in America, third edition, p. 350. ↩︎

Hardships Create the Inspiring Music of the Heart

Changing Hell Into a Buddha Land