The Salisbury Mansion in Worcester was built in 1772 by merchant Stephen Salisbury to serve as both a residence and a store. The latter, where Salisbury sold imported goods, was closed down and converted to residential use in 1820. After Salisbury’s widow, Elizabeth Tuckerman Salisbury, died in 1851 the house was used as a rental property. In later years the house served as the Hancock Club, a gentleman’s social club. The mansion was originally located at Lincoln Square, which by the early twentieth century had become an industrialized area. In 1929 the mansion was willed to the American Antiquarian Society, which three years later transferred ownership to Worcester Art Museum. The house was moved to its current address at 40 Highland Street to make way for the Lincoln Square Boys Club. The Museum sold the mansion in 1950 to the Worcester Employment Society for use as a craft center. When that group later sought to tear down the building, concerned citizens formed the Salisbury Mansion Associates in 1955 and three years later purchased it. After sharing use of the mansion with the Worcester Girl Scouts Council for many years, the Associates restored the house, which in 1984 opened as Worcester’s first historic house museum. The following year the Associates merged with the Worcester Historical Museum, which now operates the historic site.
The house at 270 Maple Street in Springfield reached its current form in 1905, although parts of it may date back to 1879. It was the home of Springfield banker Frederick Harris (1852-1926), who succeeded his father, Frederick H. Harris, as president of the Third National Bank of Springfield in 1911. He married Emily Osborne, sister of Helen Osborne Storrow, the philanthropist who founded Storrowton Village at the Big E. A school in Springfield is named for Frederick Harris.
The building of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, located at 376 North Street in Pittsfield, was begun in 1864 and the church was consecrated in 1866. It replaced an earlier church, built on what is now Melville Street in 1844. The 1866 North Street church‘s architect was P. C. Keely and the builder was Patrick Treanor of Boston.
In 1982 Springfield’s First Baptist Church (founded in 1811 and then located on State Street, having earlier merged with the State Street Baptist Church) merged with the Park Memorial Baptist Church, located at 187 Forest Park Avenue/45 Maple Street to form the First Park Memorial Baptist Church. The church meets and worships at the former Park Memorial building, erected in 1900-1901.
When Pittsfield was established in 1761 the community’s first meetinghouse was also erected (the church was organized in 1764). Intended as a temporary structure, it was eventually replaced in 1793 by a new and architecturally significant church building designed by Charles Bulfinch. After that church suffered damage in an 1851 fire it was removed to the Maplewood Young Ladies Institute, where it later served as a gymnasium (it was torn down in 1939). A new First Congregational Church, the third on the site at 27 East Street, was built in 1853. The new church was designed by Leopold Eidlitz and has an 1870 chapel designed by local architect Charles Rathbun and an 1882 Tiffany stained glass memorial window. Today the church is known as First Church on Park Square.
The building at 90 Carew Street in Springfield, dedicated on December 13, 1885, was initially called the Carew Street Chapel, begun by Springfield’s First Baptist Church. The Chapel was renamed the Carew Street Church in 1887 and the building was enlarged in 1890. Damaged in a fire on the evening of January 3, 1905, the church was rebuilt within a year. The Baptist congregation left the building c. 1949. In 1961 it became the home of the Gardner Memorial AME Zion Church, but since 2000 the building has been vacant and for sale.
The initial structure of the building at 1655 Main Street, today called the Board of Trade Block, was built in 1862 by John Hixon, a manufacturer and wholesaler of boots and shoes. He was later joined in business by William Birnie (1818-1889), who used the block (after his partner’s death) for his Birnie Paper Co., which manufactured envelopes and other paper products. Birnie, who trained as a stonemason, was also involved in bridge and railroad construction. The building was rebuilt after it was damaged by a fire in 1892. The plans were drawn by Jason Perkins, who included the 19-foot wide bay windows on the second and third floors. Over the years the building has housed various offices and social clubs. In 1927 it was joined internally with the buildings on either side.