Author Archives: Daniel

Congregational Church of Interlaken (1827)

Congregational Church of Interlaken

In 1824 plans were made to build a new meeting house by the Stockbridge Congregational Church. The location of the building was a point of contention between members of the congregation. Although it was eventually built near the site of the community’s first meeting house, church members living in the north section of town, known as Curtisville (named for the mill complex erected by Stephen Curtis), felt that the distance was too far to travel. In 1825, after much debate, it was decided to let a new Congregational Society be formed in Curtisville. The North Congregational Society met in the Red School House on Larrywaug Crossroads until its own church, also on Larrywaug Crossroad, was dedicated on January 10, 1827. The building was used until 1834 when it was taken down and and rebuilt at its present site at 6 Willard Hill Road. Curtisville later became known as Interlaken and the church as the Congregational Church of Interlaken A brick edifice, it was in use as a church until 2002, when declining membership led to the congregation’s sale of the building. It was converted into the second home of a New York architect.

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Posted in Churches, Federal, Stockbridge | Tagged | Comments Off

Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College (1955)

Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Smith College did not originally have a chapel because its founders wanted students to be part of the Northampton community and attend local churches. Finally in 1953, an alumna from the class of 1908 named Helen Hills Hills (her maiden name was hills and she married a husband named Hills) offered funds for a college chapel. She stipulated that the building should strictly follow the design of traditional New England meeting houses of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Designed by William and Geoffrey Platt (sons of Charles Adams Platt) of New York, the nondenominational Helen Hills Hills Chapel was completed in 1955. The interior of the Chapel (123 Elm Street, Northampton) has recently been modified to create a more flexible space: the old fixed pews have been removed in favor of 300 custom-made oak chairs that can be laid out in different configurations.

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Posted in Churches, Collegiate, Colonial Revival, Northampton | Tagged | Comments Off

Worcester Historical Society Building (1892)

Worcester Historical Society Building

The Worcester Society of Antiquity was first organized in 1875. The Society acquired a permanent home after Stephen Salisbury III donated land at 39 Salisbury Street and $25,000 towards the construction of a new building. Built in 1890-1891, it was designed by Barker and Nourse. It was formally opened on June 28, 1892. The organization’s name was changed to the Worcester Historical Society in 1919 and to the Worcester Historical Museum in 1978. The Museum moved to a new and larger location at 30 Elm Street in 1988. The Museum’s former home is now used as a commercial building.

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Posted in Organizations, Romanesque Revival, Worcester | Tagged | Comments Off

D. W. Gillett Block (1899)

Gillett Block

After the Masonic Block on Elm Street in Westfield burned down in 1896, Ralph D. Gillett constructed a new building (100 Elm Street) on the site in 1898-1899. It is a three-story granite and buff brick corner building with terra cotta and metal trim. Gillett was president of the Hampton Railroad, whose offices were in the building, along with McClure Laboratories (which tested food for impurities, gaining Westfield the title of “The Pure Food Town“) and The Great River Water and Power Company. Today the Gillett Block is owned by the City of Westfield and is used by the Westfield Gas and Electric Company.

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Old Town Office Building, Stockbridge (1884)

Town Offices

As related in my previous post, the Town of Stockbridge constructed a new town hall/office building in 1884 at 34 Main Street, but continued to own its previous Town Hall building of 1839, which it returned to and enlarged in 1903. The 1884 building, which displays the words “Town Offices” with the date 1884 A.D., was constructed in the Flemish Revival style. Designed to be fireproof, it contained offices for the Selectmen, Assessor and Town Clerk on the first floor and storage space on the second floor. The basement had two jail cells. The town sold the building in the 1960s and it has since been used as commercial space.

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Posted in Public Buildings, Renaissance Revival, Stockbridge | Comments Off

Stockbridge Town Hall (1839)

Stockbridge Town Hall

In 1839, the Town of Stockbridge built a Greek Revival-style Town Hall building on land owned by the Congregational Church with the stipulation that the property would revert to the church if the town moved out of the building. In 1884, the town did build a new Town Hall at 34 Main Street, but called it “Town Offices” in order to retain the 1839 building. In 1903, the town moved back to the original building, but enlarged it: the original section was rotated ninety degrees and joined to a new Neoclassical front section, designed by architect Harry E. Weeks of Pittsfield. In 2008, the town moved out of the 1839/1903 building (6 Main Street) and relocated to a former school building at the other end of Main Street.

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South Maple Street School (1888)

Westfield Grange Hall

The former South Maple Street School, a two-room brick schoolhouse built in 1888, is located at 89 South Maple Street in Westfield. The school was in continuous use until 1918 and was then unoccupied until 1931, when it became a Grange Hall for Westfield Grange #20. An entryway to the cellar kitchen was added to the building’s front facade around 1960.

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