The curiosities collection of the Springfield Museums, which goes back to 1859, was at first housed in City Hall and then in the City Library. It was later displayed in the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum‘s Hall of Ethnology. This collection soon grew so large that a seperate building was constructed in 1899. Originally established as the Springfield Ethnological and Natural History Museum, it is now the Springfield Science Museum.
Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts began in 1870 with space in the Boston Athenaeum. In 1876, the museum moved to a Gothic building on Copley Square. In 1907, the museum began planning its next move to a new location on the Fenway, where an interconnected building complex would be constructed over several years. Designed by Guy Lowell, the first section of the Classical Revival structure to be completed was the one on Huntington Avenue (above), finished in 1909, which features a central Greek temple portico with two symmetrical wings on either side. The next section was the Robert Dawson Evans Wing on the Fenway (below), completed in 1915, which features a long Ionic colonnade. Between 1916 and 1925, the John Singer Sargent created the art for the central Rotunda and Colonnade. Various additions have been made to the museum over the years, including the Decorative Arts Wing in 1928, the Forsyth Wickes Addition in 1968, the George Robert White Wing in 1970, and the I. M. Pei-designed West Wing in 1981. Currently, the museum is undergoing a new renovation and expansion. Read More
The Union Trust Company building, at 1351 Main Street in Springfield, was built in 1907. The Beaux Arts style structure was designed by the architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns, with exterior decoration by John Evans. The building has also housed Northwestern Mutual Life and the Springfield Group. Read More
On January 6, 1905, Springfield’s old City Hall was destroyed in a fire, said to have been started by a kerosene lamp overturned by a monkey. The city then undertook the project of constructing an ambitious new Municipal Group, which was completed in 1913. The group, designed by architects Harvey Wiley Corbett and F. Livingston Pell, consists of three structures: two matching columned Greek Revival buildings serving as the City Hall and the Auditorium (now Symphony Hall) and between them, rising to 300 feet, the Italianate-style Campanile (clock tower, above). The tower was attacked by an anarchist truck bomb during construction, but the thick walls survived. The tower has a twelve bell carrillion which plays sixteen notes of Handel‘s Messiah.
Springfield’s Central High School was built in 1897-1898 on State Street, on land formerly occupied by the county jail. It was adjacent to the older high school building of 1874, which then became the State Street Grammar School. The school was designed by the Boston architectural firm of Hartwell, Richardson and Driver. In 1922-1923, an addition for junior high school students was constructed on the western end of the building. In 1934, the name of the school was changed to Classical High School. The school closed in 1986 and was converted to become luxury condominiums.