Author Archives: Daniel

Parks Building (1873)

Parks Building (1873)

Oren B. Parks operated a grocery store in Westfield and became a successful businessman and civic leader in the late nineteenth century. He played a major role in developing the Northside section of Westfield. Around 1873 he built the three-story commercial building at 57-59 North Elm Street to accommodate his expanding business.

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Mater Dolorosa Roman Catholic Church (1901)

Mater Dolorosa Church

Mater Dolorosa Parish in Holyoke was established in 1896 as a Polish Roman Catholic parish. Worship took place in the basement of Our Lady of the Rosary Church until Mater Dolorosa Church, at 173 Lyman Street, was dedicated in 1901. Mater Dolorosa Catholic School opened a decade later. The church was closed in 2011 when Mater Dolorosa parish was merged with Holy Cross to form the new Our Lady of the Cross parish. This occurred came following a ruling from the Vatican after five years of appeals and court actions to prevent the closing. Next came controversy between the Catholic Diocese of Springfield and those who want to establish a Polish historic district on Lyman Street that would include the deconsecrated Mater Dolorosa Church. The proposed historic district was rejected by the City Council, but efforts to save the building continue.

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Still River Baptist Church (1832)

Still River Baptist Church

The Baptist Church in the community of Still River in the town of Harvard was organized in 1776 by fourteen members of Harvard’s First Church. In 1782, the Baptist Society acquired the first meeting house building used in nearby Leominster. It was dismantled and reassembled as the Still River Baptist Church on land donated by the congregation’s first pastor, Dr. Isaiah Parker. The old meeting house was moved again to serve as a parsonage when the current church was built in 1832. Various alterations were made to the 1832 church over the years, including an addition in 1902. In 1967, the building, which is located at 213 Still River Road, was acquired by the Harvard Historical Society with the stipulation that they preserve the sanctuary, organ (added in 1870), and various furnishings. The Society converted the vestry into exhibit space

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Harvard Evangelical Congregational Church (1821)

Harvard Evangelical Congregational Church

In 1821, part of the membership of Harvard’s First Church who objected to the town’s granting use of the meeting house to the Unitarian Society split off to form their own separate congregation, the Calvinistic Congregational Society. As related in History of the Town of Harvard, Massachusetts, 1732-1893 (1894) by Henry S. Nourse:

This formal withdrawal left the meeting-house and church furniture in legal possession of those refusing Calvinistic doctrines, and the records, though detained for a time by the clerk, Reuben Whitcomb, a leader in the new society, were soon surrendered to them. April 16, 1821, it was voted to apply to the town tor a piece of the common whereupon to build a meeting-house, and a committee was instructed to present a plan.

April 29 the town gave the ground now in possession of the society, agreeing to remove the pound and hearse-house, then standing upon it. A building forty-four feet by fifty was agreed upon, its cost being divided into one hundred shares of twenty-five dollars each.

Nourse describes later additions to the church:

In August, 1827, a subscription, headed by Seth Nason with a gift of one hundred dollars, was raised to add a cupola to the front of the meeting-house and provide a bell. The sum of $903.50 was obtained, and the addition was made, including an increase in the number of pews. In 1836 a new pulpit was built by a few individuals of the society.

[. . .] March 12, 1855, the society changed its name to “The Evangelical Congregational Society.” In 1858 the gallery pews in the meeting-house were fitted for more convenient use, and two years later the building of a “piazza” brought the church into temporary debt.

The building, at 5 Still River Road, continues to be the home of the Congregational Church of Harvard.

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Lewis J. Dudley House (1891)

293 Elm St., Northampton

Lewis J. Dudley was a prominent citizen of Northampton who built the Queen Anne house at 293 Elm Street sometime between 1891 and 1895. He may be the same Lewis J. Dudley who was the principal and owner of Northampton Collegiate Institute, a private school for boys, and the president of the Clarke School For The Deaf. Frances T. Krause bought the house in 1918 and Dr. David Koffman, the “Singing Chiropractor,” in 1974.

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Memorial Square Building (1911)

Memorial Square Building

Located in Springfield‘s Memorial Square neighborhood, near the former Memorial Congregational Church, now St. George Greek Orthodox Church, is the Memorial Square Building at 2291-2295 Main Street. Built in 1911 by the E. J. Pinney Company, the building (now called Memorial Square Apartments) has retail space on the first floor with five stories of apartments.

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Forbes Library, Northampton (1894)

Forbes Library

Forbes Library

Judge Charles E. Forbes, who wished to build a library for Northampton, left a bequest which funded the construction of the Forbes Library. Opened in 1894, the Richardsonian Romanesque building was designed by architect William Brocklesby of Hartford. The first Librarian (1894-1903) of Forbes was Charles Ammi Cutter, who had created the Cutter Expansive Classification System when he was Librarian at the Boston Athenaeum. The Forbes Library is also home to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum. (more…)

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Posted in Libraries, Northampton, Romanesque Revival | 1 Comment