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Dean Jep Streit honored Friends of the Public Garden president emeritus Henry Lee with a GoodTracy J. SukrawHenry Lee (right) receives cathedral's Good Samaritan Award from Dean Jep Streit.Tracy J. SukrawHenry Lee (right) receives cathedral's Good Samaritan Award from Dean Jep Streit. Samaritan Award for his championing of Boston's green spaces, presenting him with a pottery bowl made by Bishop Tom Shaw. 

The presentation was part of a March 13 program on architectural transformation at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
 
Lee talked about the importance of the Boston Common, the country's oldest public park, as both an oasis and center of activity over the course of its nearly 400-year history.  "It is where our civic life is acted out.  If you want to know about Boston, just come to the Common and look," he said. 
 
He noted current renewal efforts underway along the northeast corner of the Common that the cathedral church fronts, including the new sculpture under construction for the cathedral's pediment, which Lee said "is absolutely stunning.  It's going to be a beautiful accent to our city." (The new pediment sculpture, still to be installed, is scheduled to be unveiled on May 8.)  Lee said the park and the cathedral church are joined in a common mission of "caring for the spirit of the residents of our city."  
 
The gathering also heard from Sally Zimmerman of Historic New England about what Boston was like at the time the cathedral church was built, and from Ed Zimmer, an expert on the cathedral church's architect, Alexander Parris, about the architectural development and historical importance of the building itself.