The Victory Theater (spelled “Theatre” in stone on the building itself) is a grand movie/stage show palace erected in 1919 by Goldstein Brothers Amusement Company at 81–89 Suffolk Street in Holyoke. It was named in honor of the Allied victory in World War One. The theater suffered fire damaged in 1942, but continued in operation until it closed in 1979. The building remained vacant for decades, its blade sign being removed in 1986 and marquee torn down in 1991. In recent years a restoration of the old theater has been undertaken by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts with plans to open in 2017.
The commercial building at 275 High Street in Holyoke was probably constructed in the 1880s by John Tilley, but the current facade dates to 1912. It is a highly ornamented Beaux Arts design executed in brick and terra cotta to plans by local architect G. P. B. Alderman. The facade was created when Thomas S. Childs moved his shoe store, previously located at 210 High Street, into the building in 1912-1913.
At 6 Elm Street in Westfield is the Westfield Atheneum, a library originally incorporated in 1864. Funding for the first Atheneum building, located at 26 Main Street, was provided by Hiram H. Harrison, president of the American Whip Company, with additional funds for the purchase of books being raised by private subscription. The Atheneum later received the donation of a circulating book collection that was first used by the Westfield Social Library, begun in 1830. The Westfield Atheneum opened to the public on January 1, 1868. Originally requiring a $2.00 annual fee, in 1895 the Atheneum became a free library. In 1898, Westfield Academy donated another building to the Atheneum, the Fowler-Gillett Homestead (built c. 1828 by James Fowler) at the corner of Court and Elm Streets. It was remodeled for library use and opened in 1899. The current main Atheneum building, designed by Coolidge and Carlson, was erected in 1927 and the Fowler-Gillett Homestead became the Boys and Girls Library. A new wing and extension connecting to the Boys and Girls Library, which doubled the floor space of the Atheneum, were dedicated in 1966. The Atheneum building also contains the Jasper Rand Art Museum and the Edwin Smith Historical Museum.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester officially formed on January 1, 1948 through the merger of First, Bethany and Calvary parishes. The merged parish erected a new church at 73 Lancaster Street, built in stages between 1948 and 1951. The building is heavily influenced by Scandinavian church architecture.
The building at 340 Main Street in Worcester was built c. 1894-1897 to designs by the prestigious architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns. Known today as the Commerce Building (named for later tenant Commerce Bank), it was originally built for the State Mutual Life Insurance Company. Founded in 1844-1845 as the nation’s fifth life insurance company, it had previously been located in an 1870 building at 240 Main Street.
Three buildings on North Street in Pittsfield are depicted in the image above. On the left is the Blaisdell, 413-419 North Street, built in 1907 for the head of the Blaisdell-Kavy Co., and designed by Pittsfield architect George Edward Haynes. In the center is the Wood Brothers Building, 421-429 North Street, also designed by Haynes. It was built in 1922-1923 to house the Wood Brothers music store, founded in 1880 and still in business today at another location. The building’s facade is constructed of 40 tons of cast stone from the Art Stone Co. of Millers Falls. The building on the right, 441-445 North Street, is the Farrell Building. Dating to 1913-1915, it is also the work of Haynes.