Category Archives: Renaissance Revival

Clinton Town Hall (1909)

Clinton

The Town Hall of Clinton was built in 1909. Designed by Peabody and Stearns, it replaced the previous Town Hall built in 1871-1872 that was destroyed by fire in 1907. Brick for the building was provided by Fiske & Co. and terra cotta ornamentation by the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company. The building is at 242 Church Street.

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Mechanics Hall (1857)

Mechanics Hall

One of Worcester’s most iconic buildings is Mechanics Hall. It was built in 1857 to house educational and cultural activities by the Worcester County Mechanics Association. This organization was formed in 1842 to promote the mechanical arts and to provide education and training for industrial workers. Mechanics Hall featured meeting rooms, a library, and two halls. The building was designed by Elbridge Boyden, a Worcester architect. By the mid-twentieth century, other organizations had taken up the role once played by the Mechanics Association and other auditoriums had found favor with the public. To raise revenue, Mechanics Hall was rented out for sporting events and for a time was even a roller skating rink. The old building was no longer the cultural center it had once been and was in danger of demolition. Citizens rallied to save Mechanics Hall, which was restored and reopened in 1977. Today, the Mechanics Association‘s primary mission is to maintain Mechanics Hall, which is considered to be the finest pre-Civil War concert hall in the country and one of the four finest in North America. The Main Hall features the 1864 Hook Organ (aka the Worcester Organ). Built by E. & G.G. Hook, it is the oldest unaltered four-keyboard organ in the Western Hemisphere.

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Posted in Organizations, Renaissance Revival, Theaters, Worcester | Comments Off

Berkshire Life Insurance Company (1868)

Berkshire Life Building

The corner of North and West Streets in Pittsfield was the site of the Berkshire Hotel from the 1820s to 1866. In 1868, the headquarters of the Berkshire Life Insurance Company was built here (current address: 5-7 North Street). The building as it exists today was constructed in three stages. The first section, designed by Louis Weissbein of Boston, had a basement level below three floors and a Mansard roof with gable windows. In 1911, the Mansard roof was removed and two additional stories were added by Joseph McArthur Vance of Pittsfield. In 1927, the building was extended to the west with a new addition by Henry Seaver of Pittsfield. Berkshire Life, founded in 1851, left the building to move to a new headquarters in 1959. In 2001, Berkshire Life merged with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
Here are links to some historic images of this building:

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Posted in Commercial, Neoclassical, Pittsfield, Renaissance Revival | Comments Off

Burnside Building (1880)

At 339 Main Street in downtown Worcester is the Burnside Building, built in 1880. The structure is a five-story brick commercial building designed by the architects Bradlee, Winslow and Wetherell of Boston and built by the Norcoss Brothers in an eclectic Romanesque style with sandstone trim. The building replaced an earlier commercial block on the site and was erected by the heirs of lawyer Samuel Burnside. His daughter Harriet Burnside also left money for the construction of Burnside Fountain in Worcester.

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Phoenix Building, Holyoke (1910)

The large commercial building at 592-604 Dwight Street and 221-233 Maple Street in Holyoke was built in 1910 for the Phoenix Realty Company. Designed by Lucius L. Bridge, the Phoenix Building was constructed of steel and reinforced concrete to make the structure fireproof.

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Posted in Commercial, Holyoke, Renaissance Revival | 1 Comment

Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Westfield (1910)

Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in Westfield was founded in 1903 by Polish immigrants, who first settled in the town in the 1890s. Bishop Thomas Daniel Beaven of Springfield had asked the Missionaries of La Salette to come to the aid of his Polish-speaking parishioners. As there were no Polish speaking La Salette Fathers at that time, five missionaries were sent at the Bishop’s expense to Poland to learn the Polish language. In 1906, the first La Salette Father arrived in Westfield to take charge of the new parish. Holy Trinity Catholic Church, on Elm Street in Westfield, was built in 1909-1910. A parish rectory was also built next to the church, followed by Holy Trinity School in 1921.

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Posted in Churches, Gothic, Renaissance Revival, Westfield | Tagged | 1 Comment

Holyoke Die Cut Card Company (1873)

At 439 Dwight Street in Holyoke a factory was constructed in 1873 by George W. Prentiss on land he acquired in 1871 for his Prentiss Wire Mills. His company produced piano, broom and industrial wire and produced the first wire stitcher for book binding in the United Stats in 1875. The building today looks different from that depicted in early illustrations. The current structure may have been significantly altered (with the removal of the original roof) or completely rebuilt (perhaps around 1900, which is the date given the building in the Holyoke On-Line Property Viewer). The factory was later home to the Holyoke Die Cut Card Company. Now vacant, the building, which is along Holyoke’s Canal Walk, may be restored in the future.

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Posted in Holyoke, Industrial, Renaissance Revival | 1 Comment