Category Archives: Greek Revival

Old Harvard Townhouse (1828)

Harvard Townhouse

The origin of the Town of Harvard’s first Town Hall, or Townhouse, is described by Henry S. Nourse in his 1894 History of Harvard:

The earliest movement looking to the building of a hall especially adapted for the transaction of the town’s business was on April 7, 1807, when a committee was appointed to consider the proposition. The report of the committee was probably adverse, as no further action in the matter is recorded, and the town-meetings continued to be held in the meeting-house as they had been from the first. In 1827 the subject was again agitated, perhaps stirred by some natural objections on the part of the first parish to submit their place of worship to the defilement and injury incident to its frequent use by mixed and sometimes disorderly assemblies. A town-meeting debated the question of the town’s right to use the meeting-house, and finally referred it to a special committee for investigation. Samuel Hoar, Esq., was consulted, and advised the town that the edifice was the property of the first parish exclusively, and that a precisely similar case had already been decided by the supreme court in favor of the church in Medford. A for a new building for the town’s use, forty-four by thirty-four feet, estimated to cost seven hundred dollars, but the whole subject was dismissed at that time.

May 5, 1828, a town-meeting was called at the Baptist meeting-house in Still River, and then it was voted to proceed with the erection of a town house at once. The building was placed on the north-eastern portion of the common, across the highway from the present town hall, where E. W. Houghton’s barn now stands. It faced to the south, and had four Tuscan columns supporting the front gable. There was no provision for warming it until 1832, when a chimney was built and a stove purchased.

After a new Town Hall was built in 1871, the old Townhouse was moved slightly to the north (current address 14 Ayer Road) and converted into a residence by George L . Sawyer, who sold it to his father Arad Sawyer. Later in the nineteenth century it was owned by Sawyer’s daughter Sarah and her husband, Charles P. Atherton.

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West Triple House (1834)

West Triple House

Erected circa 1833-1834 is a triple house at 5-9 Summer Street in Salem. It was built as an investment by Capt. Nathaniel West, who lived in one of the three units. The house is now part of The Salem Inn. Capt. West had been involved in an infamous scandal when he was divorced from his wife, Elizabeth Derby West, in 1806. In the trial he had lost to her his estate in Danvers, Oak Hill, but later reacquired part of it after her death. He moved it to Salem where it became the front section of the Philips House on Chestnut Street.

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Foster House Hotel (1843)

Foster House Hotel

The building at 50 North Elm Street in Westfield was built in 1843 as a hotel by Micajak Taylor. In the 1850s the building was known as the Pontoosic House Hotel and from the 1890s the hotel and tavern/restaurant was known as the Foster House. Thought to be the oldest continuously operated tavern in western Massachusetts, the Foster House has now been closed for several years.

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Stockbridge Town Hall (1839)

Stockbridge Town Hall

In 1839, the Town of Stockbridge built a Greek Revival-style Town Hall building on land owned by the Congregational Church with the stipulation that the property would revert to the church if the town moved out of the building. In 1884, the town did build a new Town Hall at 34 Main Street, but called it “Town Offices” in order to retain the 1839 building. In 1903, the town moved back to the original building, but enlarged it: the original section was rotated ninety degrees and joined to a new Neoclassical front section, designed by architect Harry E. Weeks of Pittsfield. In 2008, the town moved out of the 1839/1903 building (6 Main Street) and relocated to a former school building at the other end of Main Street.

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Root House (1840)

Root House

Known as the Root House, the house at 63 Broad Street in Westfield was built c. 1840.

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East India Marine Hall (1825)

East India Marine Hall

East India Marine Hall, on Essex Street in Salem, was constructed in 1824-1825 by the East India Marine Society. The Society had been founded in 1799 as a charitable and educational organization whose membership consisted of ship masters or supercargos who had sailed around either Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. The Society also maintained a library and a museum, called a “cabinet of natural and artificial curiosities.” The Society rented rooms in the Stearns Block from 1799 to 1804 and, needing more space for its growing collections, in the Salem Bank Building from 1804 to 1825. Again needing more space, the Society moved into the new East India Marine Hall, which was dedicated on October 14, 1825. The building was designed by architect Thomas Waldron Summer. In 1867 the society deposited its collections with the newly established Peabody Academy of Science which also bought the East India Marine Hall. Additions were been made the the Hall over the years as the institution grew into today’s Peabody Essex Museum, but East India Marine Hall has maintained its original appearance. The building’s grand banquet hall is available to rent for events.

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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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