Category Archives: Building Type

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

Fletcher-Hildreth House (1869)

8 Ayer Rd., Harvard

The French Second Empire house at 8 Ayer Road in Harvard was built in 1869 on the site of the Bigelow-Willard House, which was moved at 18 Ayer Road. The house was built by George H. Fletcher (b. 1833) and his wife, who moved to Clinton in the 1880s. The house was then occupied by tenants until it was acquired by Emily E. Hildreth, who made alterations the building, which included erecting the two-story entrance porch. Hildreth called the house Sunny Side and held weekly summer lectures there from 1888 to 1910. Miss Hildreth‘s sister, Mrs. F. E. Farwell next lived in the house, which was sold in the 1930s to the Dodge family.

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Fruitlands Farmhouse (1825)

Fruitlands Farmhouse

For seven months in 1843-1844, a farmhouse in the Town of Harvard served as the home of the Utopian agrarian commune called Fruitlands. Founded by Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane and based on Transcendentalist principles, the experiment was not a success, failing due to the participants‘ inability to grow sufficient food. Alcott soon moved his family, including his daughter, the future author Louisa May Alcott, back to Concord, where he later purchased Orchard House to be the family home.

After the commune broke up, its land was bought by one of its former members, Joseph Palmer, who for 20 years used it as a refuge for reformers called Freelands. Clara Endicott Sears bought the property in 1910 and opened it as a museum in 1914. It is today part of the Fruitlands Museum. The farmhouse is described in its National Register of Historic Places nomination as typical of the late eighteenth-century. The Historic American Buildings Survey documentation describes it as an early 18th century farmhouse. The Fruitlands Museum website describes it as having been built in 1825.

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Posted in Harvard, Houses, Vernacular | Tagged | 2 Comments

Asa Colton House (1775)

44 Colton Place

The various sections of the house at 44 Colton Place in Longmeadow were built at different times, but its earliest section, dating to 1775, is attributed to Asa Colton. He was a veteran of the Colonial Wars who fought at the Siege of Louisbourg in 1748. Some sources say the house was later the home of Daniel Burbank, a veteran of the Civil War, while another states that it was sold out of the Colton family in 1865 to D. Erskine Burbank, son of Daniel Burbank (died 1865), the local butcher. Erskine Burbank served in the state legislature during the Civil War and was Justice of the Peace for 28 years. Around 1900, the house was moved from its original location, at the current site of the Center School Annex on Longmeadow Green, to its present address.

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Albert A. Sawyer House (1893)

Albert A. Sawyer House

The house at 9 Elm Street in Harvard was built in 1893 by Albert A. Sawyer. He served as Town Selectman from 1885 to 1890 and as assessor in 1893. The house was later home to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Eli Hosmer, and Mrs. George Morse. In 1952 the house became a two-family residence but is now single-family again.

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Central Exchange Building (1896)

Central Exchange Building

The Central Exchange Building at 301-315 Main Street in Worcester stands on the site of the Old Central Exchange Building. This predecessor was built in 1830, burned down in 1843 and was rebuilt the following year. The current Central Exchange Building was constructed in 1895-1896. Designed by architect W.G. Preston, its first owner was Elizabeth Davis Bliss Dewey, wife of Francis H. Dewey II, a trustee of the Mechanics’ National Bank and the Worcester Mechanics’ Savings Bank, which would be early tenants of the building. In 1902, an additional section of the building, 301-303 Main Street, was added, designed by Fuller & Delano. (more…)

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E. A. Dexter House (1898)

Dexter House

The E. A. Dexter House at 194 Summer Avenue in Springfield is an example of the Mission Revival/Spanish Colonial Revival style featuring a tile roof and wide overhanging eaves.

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