Category Archives: Romanesque Revival

Saint Paul’s Universalist Church, Adams (1871)

Elks Lodge, Adams

Located at 63 Center Street in Adams is the former Saint Paul’s Universalist Church, built in the Romanesque style c. 1871-1872. In the later twentieth century the church was sold to Lodge #1335 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. (more…)

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Park Street Firehouse, Adams (1900)

Adams Firehouse

At 47 Park Street in Adams is a former firehouse that later served as the Adams Ambulance Service and is now the Firehouse Cafe. It was built in 1890.

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Bromfield School (1878)

Old Bromfield School

The Bromfield School in the town of Harvard was founded by Margaret Bromfield Blanchard (died 1876), who left a bequest in her will to establish a private secondary school. The Romanesque Revival school building, designed by Peabody & Stearns, was built in 1877-1878 at 24 Massachusetts Avenue on the land where the colonial house of Mrs. Blanchard’s great-grandfather, Colonel Henry Bromfield, had once stood. Built as the residence of Rev. John Seccomb, the house became the summer residence of Col. Bromfield in 1767. The house burned down in 1855 and Mrs. Blanchard acquired the land for her future school. The Bromfield School eventually became a public school in 1940. It moved out of the old building in 2003 to a new building (12 Massachusetts Avenue). The Old Bromfield School was then extensively restored and reopened in 2007 with an 11,500-square-foot addition as the new home of the Harvard Public Library (4 Pond Road).

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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.
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Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Roman Catholic Church, Adams (1887)

Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Roman Catholic Church

In vol. II of The History of the Catholic Church in the New England States (1899), Rev. John J. McCoy relates the origins of Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs parish:

Just one year beyond a quarter of a century need we go to find the French-Canadian people of Adams assisting for the first time at Mass in a body by themselves. Then, January 4, 1872, Father Charles Crevier, the pastor of the Sacred Heart church at North Adams, gathered them into a hall on the third story of a building in the town, and said Mass for them and preached to them in their native tongue. Five years later, on Park street, upon land which he had already purchased for $2500, he built a frame chapel at a cost of $5000. The original yet serves the people as a school for the parish children. In September, 1882, Bishop O’Reilly made the Rev. John Baptist Charbonneau, then a curate of Father Crevier, the first resident pastor of the Canadians of Adams.

The parish acquired additional property at 21 Maple Street for $15,000 and

Father Charbonneau, in 1887, hardly five years from the time of his appointment, laid the foundation of the spacious and beautiful church which is the pride of the Canadian people today. Bishop O’Reilly is reported as having called the church of the Sept. Douleurs one of the most beautiful in his diocese. It is of Romanesque architecture, 150 feet long by 70 feet wide, and has seating capacity for 1500 people.

In 1998, Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Roman Catholic Church and St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Adams formed a joint parish. In 2008, the two parishes merged to form Pope John Paul the Great Parish, now called Blessed John Paul Parish.

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First Congregational Church of Adams (1868)

First Congregational Church, Adams

The First Congregational Church of Adams, at 42 Park Street in Adams, is a wood-frame church built in 1868. At some point, the church lost its original tall steeple, which was replaced with the current shortened one. Just to the south are the parish house and parsonage, built in 1895.

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St. John the Evangelist Church, Clinton (1886)

St. John the Evangelist Church

There were two St. John the Evangelist Churches in Clinton before the current one, at 80 Union Street, was built in 1886. Begun as a mission church to the growing community’s Irish immigrants in the 1840s, the the first church was dedicated on October 4, 1850. It was a wood frame church on South Main Street. As described by Andrew Elmer Ford in his History of the Origin of the Town of Clinton, Massachusetts, 1653-1865 (1896):

The inclosure of pine trees which today makes the former location of the church conspicuous, was set out under the direction of Father Boyce. At first, this church was much more simply furnished than in its later days. The galleries, the pews, the organ and the furnace were put in as the means of the people increased.

This building was soon outgrown, as was the second church, a temporary structure also built of wood, which was occupied in 1869. The original church was demolished in 1874. As related in a historical sermon by Rev. Edward J. Fitzgerald that appears in the volume commemorating the Semi-centennial Celebration of the Incorporation of the Town of Clinton, Mar. 14, 1850, which took place on June 17, 18, 19, 1900:

Already the old church was inadequate and the growing numbers and the increasing prosperity of the Catholics made the plan of erecting an enduring church, which would be a glory to the God who dwelt therein and an ornament to the town, no longer a chimera. The year 1875 saw the consummation of this project, when on August 8 the erstwhile curate, now the first Bishop of the Springfield diocese, laid the corner-stone of St. John’s Church in which we are assembled today. The basement finished, the work lagged somewhat for five years, when by the united efforts of the loyal and generous people of the parish, the superstructure was raised and ornamented, and 1886 saw it dedicated to God with the beautiful ceremonial of our church, the Right Reverend Bishop being surrounded by the most dignified members of his clergy, and the lesson of the event being pointed out by eloquent lips.

The parish is called Saint John the Guardian of Our Lady Parish at St. John the Evangelist Church.

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