Category Archives: Holyoke

Holyoke City Hall (1876)

Holyoke City Hall

The City Hall of Holyoke, located at the corner of Dwight and High Streets (536 Dwight Street), was built in 1871-1876. It was planned as the Town Hall, but Holyoke had become a city by the time it was completed. It was built with granite quarried in Monson. The building was designed by Charles B. Atwood, who utilized elements of the Gothic and Romanesque Revival styles. During construction, Because Atwood was not delivering updated drawings in a timely manner, the design work was turned over to H.F. Kilburn in 1874. An annex in the same style was completed in 1913. The building has a second-floor auditorium, called the City Hall Ballroom, that features thirteen stained glass windows designed by Samuel West of the Ecclesiastical Stained Glass Works in Boston. In recent years the painted antique glass windows had fallen into disrepair. A campaign was organized that raised funds and the windows were restored last year. Other restoration work has also been done on the building’s exterior and interior. (more…)

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Sears Building (1896)

80 Race Street, Holyoke

Around 1896, Henry G. Sears and Lemuel Sears (not related by blood) constructed the building at 80 Race Street in Holyoke. Henry G. Sears was born at Shelburne Falls in 1853. As related in volume 6 of the Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, Biographical–Genealogical (1916):

In March, 1871, he entered the employ of Lemuel Sears, a merchant of Holyoke, Massachusetts, remaining but a few weeks when he accepted the advice of an uncle, Henry Eldridge, and went West. He located at Dwight, Illinois, and there made an agreement by which in return for his services he was to receive twelve dollars and fifty cents per month the first year, fifteen dollars the second and twenty dollars the third year, in addition to his board. The West did not prove to his liking, and after one month in his new home he returned to Holyoke and again entered the employ of Lemuel Sears, beginning as clerk at a weekly salary of four dollars and board. He remained in that subordinate position until twenty-three years of age, when he was admitted to a partnership in the business then conducted upon a retail basis only. The partnership, begun in 1876, was continued until the death of Lemuel Sears, March 17, 1912, when Henry G. Sears purchased the interest owned by the heirs and became sole proprietor. Soon after 1876 the business was enlarged and as wholesale and retail grocers the firm became well and most favorably known, the enthusiasm, energy and efficiency of the junior partner agreeing well with the matured wisdom and long experience of the senior. After becoming sole proprietor Mr. Sears, in April, 1913, expanded the business by incorporation, as the Henry G. Sears Company, with Henry G. Sears as president and treasurer, and the business of the company has been built up until it is at the present time (1916) the largest in Western Massachusetts.

The grocery store was damaged in a fire in 1921. The building later housed a local beer and wine distributor and is now home to Paper City Studios.

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Wauregan Paper Company (1879)

Wauregan Hall

Located at 418-420 Dwight Street, between the first and second level canals in Holyoke, is an old mill building constructed by James H. Newton in 1879. Newton had purchased the land from his brothers, David H. and John C. Newton, in 1871. The Newton family established many industrial concerns in Holyoke. The Wauregan Paper Company purchased the mill from Newton in 1880 and used it to produce book papers. In 1899, the company was incorporated into the American Writing Paper Company. The building, known as Wauregan Hall, continued to be used over the years for light manufacturing. It was acquired in 2009 by three artists from San Francisco who have plans to transform it into a European-style in-door market for artisanal food producers. (more…)

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First Presbyterian Church, Holyoke (1887)

Former First Presbyterian Church

Holyoke’s First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1886. The new church purchased the corner lot at Cabot and Chestnut Streets (237 Chestnut Street) from the Holyoke Water Power Company. Construction began in September, 1887, and the church was dedicated on March 5, 1889, although it had already been in use since August 1888. The church was built of granite with brownstone trim. It is now home to Centro de Restauracion Emanuel Inc.
(more…)

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Posted in Churches, Holyoke, Romanesque Revival | Tagged | 5 Comments

New England Telegraph and Telephone Company Building, Holyoke (1931)

322 Maple St., Holyoke

The New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, now Verizon New England, Inc., was founded in 1883. Am I right in assuming this is the same as the New England Telegraph and Telephone Company? Having just previously occupied (from 1902) a building at the corner of Maple and Suffolk Streets in Holyoke, that company moved into a new Art Deco structure, located two blocks south (at 322 Maple Street), in 1931. The building has lost much of its original ornament.

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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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Posted in Commercial, Holyoke, Neoclassical | Comments Off

Albion Paper Company Mill (1878)

Albion Paper Company

Holyoke‘s most striking old factory building was constructed by the Albion Paper Company at what is now 15 Water Street. An earlier mill building on the site, belonging to the Hampton Company, was acquired by the Albion Company after the latter was formed in 1869. The Albion Company was sold to D.H. & J.C. Newton in 1877, who rebuilt the mill complex with substantial additions in 1878. The building features two mansard-roofed towers (the second one added post-1887), whose bells summoned workers for their shifts. The company manufactured book paper and engine sized flat paper. After experiencing accumulating large debts in the 1890s, the company was incorporated into the American Writing Paper Company in 1899. Another adjacent mill building, which was built circa 1880 by the Nonotuck Paper Company and later became the Mt. Tom Division of American Writing Paper Company, was destroyed by a fire earlier this year.

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