Category Archives: Neoclassical

Adams Free Library (1897)

Adams Free Library

In 1897, President Willian H. McKinley laid the cornerstone of of the Adams Free Library during his second visit to the town. The library, located at 92 Park Street in Adams, was built largely with funds provided by the Plunkett family, founders of the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company. It was built as both library and memorial to the veterans of the Civil War. The names Washington, Lincoln and Grant are listed on the building’s cornice. The building is constructed of buff-colored brick, trimmed by marble quarried at the former Adams Marble Company. The second floor was used as a meeting hall by Civil War veterans. An addition to the library was built in 1910.

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Worcester County Courthouse (1845)

Worcester County Courthouse

Early county courthouses in Worcester were built in 1733, 1751 and 1802. A granite courthouse with six columns, designed in the Greek Revival style by Ammi B. Young, was built between 1843 and 1845. An addition to the southwest corner of the building, designed in a Greek Revival/Victorian style by Stephen C. Earle, was made in 1878. In 1898-1899 a major expansion and remodeling of the building took place. The original courthouse portico was removed and a new facade created on Main Street which incorporated the original six columns and two new ones made to match the originals. The new facade, designed by Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul, features two pavilions (the one on the south is the original courthouse), with two columns each, flanking a central section with four columns. The Courthouse, located at 2 Main Street off Lincoln Square, is currently vacant.

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Salisbury House (1837)

Salisbury House, Worcester

At 61 Harvard Street in Worcester is the impressive Salisbury House, an unusual example of the Greek Revival style, built in 1835-1838 for Stephen Salisbury II by master builder Elias Carter. Stephen Salisbury II was a wealthy financier, civic leader and philanthropist. His son, Stephen Salisbury III, continued to live in the house after his father’s death in 1884. He was also a philanthropist and a founder of the Worcester Art Museum in 1896. When Stephen Salisbury III died in 1905, he left the house to the Museum, which used it for the Art Museum School until 1939. Two years later it was sold to the Worcester American Red Cross which uses the building as its headquarters. When Harvard Street was widened in 1931, the house was moved a few feet northwest of its original site.

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Hampden Savings Bank (1918)

Hampden Savings Bank (1918)

The Hampden Savings Bank Building, at 1665 Main Street in Springfield, was built in 1918. Designed by Max Westhoff, it displays fine Classical Revival detailing. The bank was founded in 1852, the same year Springfield was incorporated as a city. It was originally established to serve railroad workers and was located near the railroad depot. From 1852 to 1871, the Hampden Savings Bank shared space with the Agawam National Bank. In 1899 it moved to the Fort Block, at the corner of Main and Fort Streets. The bank occupied its 1918 building until 1952, when it moved to a new building at 19 Harrison Avenue. The former bank building now houses a law office.

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Calvin Theatre (1924)

Calvin Theatre

Sadly missing the “C” from its current marquee is the Calvin Theatre at 19 King Street in Northampton. The theatre was built in 1924 and was once the largest movie theatre in Northampton. It closed in 1994, but later reopened under new management as a live performance venue.

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First Agricultural National Bank (1908)

First Agricultural National Bank, Pittsfield

The impressive white marble building of the First Agricultural National Bank stands at 100 North Street in Pittsfield. Built in 1908-1909, it was the Bank’s fourth home since its founding in 1818. Its first home was the former building of the failed Berkshire Bank. As related in The History of Pittsfield (1916) by Edward Boltwood:

In 1876, the banking rooms of the Agricultural were those now occupied by the Third National, on the ground floor of the building of the Berkshire Life Insurance Company, north of the main entrance. The erection of the handsome white marble structure on the east side of North Street, between Fenn and Dunham Streets, which is at present occupied in part by the Agricultural, was begun by the bank in June, 1908, and finished in October, 1909. The architects were Messrs. Mowbray and Uffinger of New York; and the result of their labors and of those of the bank’s building committee was a notable contribution to the beauty of the business center of the city. The cost of the building was $250,000.

A 1928-1930 addition to the bank was designed by the firm of Halsey, McCormack & Helmer.

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J. R. Smith Building (1906)

J. R. Smith Building

Next to City Hall, at 270-276 High Street in Holyoke, is the J. R. Smith Building, sometimes referred to as Holyoke‘s first skyscraper. Smith owned the city’s largest grocery store. He built his eight-story building in 1906 (or as early as 1898?). Smith later sold the building to John J. Prew. It was thereafter called the Prew Building.

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