Nestled among Andover's busy Main Street merchants has sat a quiet and peaceful space for more than 50 years. The Christian Science Reading Room, however, is about to leave its downtown location.
The Reading Room, located at 36 Main St., is moving to its worship building, First Church of Christ, Scientist, at 278 N. Main St. near the Lanam Club.
In the past five decades, the Reading Room has been located in four different places downtown, its current for about 20 years.
Volunteers at the Reading Room said it has been a bit too quiet and very few people stop in to read and pray.
Visitors can borrow or purchase the Bible, Bible reference books, the Christian Science textbook and other Christian Science literature. They can also study the weekly Bible Lesson Sermon in the Reading Room or take in some of the Christian Science magazines. Both current and past issues of these magazines can be accessed in print or online at the Reading Room.
"Everyone is just too busy today. They don't have the time to come in," said Stan Limpert, who volunteers at the Reading Room on Thursdays.
Kathy Kinney of Boxford covers the Tuesday shift and said that somewhere between one and five people visit when it's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, plus for two hours Saturday mornings.
"It's quiet and peaceful here, so it's really a chance for me to do my own reading," she said. "I will miss being on Main Street in the middle of all the action."
A "For Lease" sign now hangs in the window. The First Church of Christ, Scientist is looking for a replacement tenant and will not close its Reading Room until a one is found, Limpert said.
The landlord of 36 Main St. is Lally Real Estate Trust. Limpert said the landlord has been "terrific" for all their years in the space.
Kinney said the Reading Room has been located in four different spaces on Main Street since The First Church of Christ, Scientist was built in Andover in the 1960s.
It has had its home near the Main and Barnard streets intersection for about 20 years.
The location at the church is ready to accept visitors, according to Limpert.
"The new Reading Room is all set up at the church. Anyone can come by to see it," Limpert said.