Elijah Blake House (1839)


Elijah Blake was the chief engineer of Springfield’s fire department and also held many local offices and served in the state legislature. His 1839 cottage style house has an interesting front porch, made of tin and designed to resemble a tent with bamboo supports. The house was purchased by the Springfield Library Association (now the Library and Museums Association) in 1890. It originally stood on State Street, was moved in 1892 to the rear of its lot to make room for the construction of the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, was moved again in 1898 for the construction of the Museum of Natural History, and yet again to its current location on Edwards Street in 1996. It has served various purposes for the Association and currently houses the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum‘s administrative offices. Before building his house in 1839, Elijah Blake had lived in a gambrel roofed house, built around 1760, on State Street, later moved to Dwight Street.

Concord Town House (1851)


The Town of Concord’s first Town House, used for “town meetings and the county courts 1721-1794,” was located across the town green from the location of the current Town House. In the nineteenth century, the town would continue to share a building with the courts, until a fire destroyed the courthouse in 1849 and the town’s privilege to use it’s replacement was not renewed. A new structure was therefore built specifically for town use in the Italianate style, designed by the Boston architect Richard Bond, who also designed Boston’s Lewis Wharf and Salem’s City Hall. Called a “town house,” it contained not only a town hall, but originally also housed Concord’s first public library and school classrooms. Later, the building would be used for strictly municipal functions. An addition was added to the rear in 1879-80.