St. John’s Episcopal Church, Northampton (1893)

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Northampton was established in 1826. The original wooden church was located on on Bridge Street and was designed by Thomas Pratt, a noted local builder. His son, architect William Fenno Pratt, later added the steeple and served as the church’s organist and choir director from 1836 to 1861. A new stone church, the gift of philanthrophist George Bliss of Brooklyn, New York, who was originally from Northampton, was built on Elm Street, adjacent to the campus of Smith College, in 1893. The church was designed by R.W. Gibson of New York and was built by the Norcross Brothers of Worcester.

Nathaniel Parsons House (1719)

About 1730 (now believed to be c.1719) Nathaniel Parsons built a single-chimney house on the homelot originally laid out by his grandfather, Joseph Parsons, in 1654. At one time the house was thought to have been built by Joseph Parsons, known as Cornet Joseph, one of the founders of Springfield and Northampton, whose wife, Mary Bliss Parsons, was famously found not guilty of witchcraft by a jury in 1675. The Parsons House was gradually remodeled and expanded over time by later owners. In 1941, the Parsons House was donated to Historic Northampton and became part of the organization’s collection of historic buildings. It has recently undergone restoration. Read More

Hampshire County Courthouse (1887)

The Hampshire County Courthouse in downtown Northampton was built in 1886-1887. Designed by architect Henry F. Kilbourn in the Richardson Romanesque style (with similarities to the Richardson-designed Hampden County Courthouse in Springfield), the building is the fourth courthouse on the site. The first was built in 1739 and the second in 1767. Isaac Damon designed the third building, built in 1812, which burned in 1886. The current building’s courtroom is seldom used for court business today, although there is office and storage space and a law library used by the judges and staff at the neighboring court building. Much of the the structure‘s space is used as offices by the Hampshire Council of Governments, which owns the building. An architectural assessment of the Courthouse was recently completed and there are plans to completely renovate it. This project will involve replacing the slate roof, the tiles on the building‘s tower and the 1973 plate glass windows. There will also be major structural reinforcement.