United Congregational Church, Holyoke (1885)

United Congregational Church, Holyoke

The Second Congregational Church (now United Congregational Church) of Holyoke was organized in 1849 as the First Congregational Society of Ireland Depot, taking the name of Second Congregational the following year when Holyoke became a town. Its first church, designed by New Haven architect Henry Austin, was erected in 1853 at the northeast corner of High and Dwight streets. A new church, located at 395 High Street, was erected in 1882-1885. It was designed by P. B. Johnson. By 1868 the congregation was the largest Congregational church in New England, and the fifth largest in the country. Attached to the 1885 church is the Skinner Memorial Chapel, designed by Allen and Collens and completed in 1912. A fire in 1919 destroyed the church, but left the bell tower and chapel standing. A new church, matching the architecture of the chapel, was soon built, also designed by Allen and Collens. In 1996 Second Congregational merged with Grace United Church (itself a 1973 merger of Grace Church and First United Congregational Church) to form the United Congregational Church of Holyoke.

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Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester (1951)

Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester

Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester officially formed on January 1, 1948 through the merger of First, Bethany and Calvary parishes. The merged parish erected a new church at 73 Lancaster Street, built in stages between 1948 and 1951. The building is heavily influenced by Scandinavian church architecture.

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French Congregational Church – First Spiritualist Church (1887)

First Spiritualist Church

The picture above was taken in 2012, four years before the recent move of what was once the French Congregational Church and then the First Spiritualist Church. This spring, the building was moved 600 feet from its original address at 33-37 Bliss Street to a new location closer to Union Street to make way for construction of the new MGM Springfield Casino. The High Victorian Gothic-style church was erected in 1887 through the leadership of Springfield industrialist Daniel B. Wesson to benefit French Canadian Huguenots who were employed by the Smith and Wesson Company. In 1909, the French Protestants gave up the church and Wesson sold it to the Congregational Union. In 1918 the church was acquired by the First Spiritualist Society, formed in 1898, which incorporated in 1919 as the First Spiritualist Church of Springfield. The Church sold the building in 2013 and moved to a new location in Chicopee, where it is now known as the Healing Hands of Light Spiritualist Church.

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South Congregational Church, Pittsfield (1850)

South Congregational Church, Pittsfield

Pittsfield’s South Congregational Church was formed in 1848 because of the enlarged membership of the First Congregational Church. Work soon began on the new church building at 110 South Street, but in September, 1849 a fire destroyed the partially completed structure. Work started over and the completed church was dedicated on November 13, 1850. The steeple has twice been blown down, in 1859 and in 1882.

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Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Pittsfield (1866)

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church

The building of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, located at 376 North Street in Pittsfield, was begun in 1864 and the church was consecrated in 1866. It replaced an earlier church, built on what is now Melville Street in 1844. The 1866 North Street church‘s architect was P. C. Keely and the builder was Patrick Treanor of Boston.

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First Park Memorial Baptist Church (1901)

First Park Memorial Baptist Church

In 1982 Springfield’s First Baptist Church (founded in 1811 and then located on State Street, having earlier merged with the State Street Baptist Church) merged with the Park Memorial Baptist Church, located at 187 Forest Park Avenue/45 Maple Street to form the First Park Memorial Baptist Church. The church meets and worships at the former Park Memorial building, erected in 1900-1901.

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First Church of Christ, Pittsfield (1853)

First Church, Pittsfield

When Pittsfield was established in 1761 the community’s first meetinghouse was also erected (the church was organized in 1764). Intended as a temporary structure, it was eventually replaced in 1793 by a new and architecturally significant church building designed by Charles Bulfinch. After that church suffered damage in an 1851 fire it was removed to the Maplewood Young Ladies Institute, where it later served as a gymnasium (it was torn down in 1939). A new First Congregational Church, the third on the site at 27 East Street, was built in 1853. The new church was designed by Leopold Eidlitz and has an 1870 chapel designed by local architect Charles Rathbun and an 1882 Tiffany stained glass memorial window. Today the church is known as First Church on Park Square.

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