St. Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church was the city of Holyoke’s first Catholic church. Holyoke Catholics were first organized in 1856 and the church, located at 181 Hampden Street, was built in 1858-1860. The church was designed by prominent church architect Patrick Keely. A fire in 1934 destroyed everything but the church’s brick walls. The building was rebuilt to plans by John W. Donahue of Springfield. A chapel was added to the rear of the church, plans starting in 1939. Read More
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, at 29 Main Street in Stockbridge, was founded in 1834 and in the 1840s a church was erected to designs by Richard Upjohn. The present stone church was built in 1884 of Berkshire limestone. It was designed by Charles F. McKim, who donated his services, and contains stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge. The church was a gift of Charles Butler in memory of his wife, Susan Ridley Sedgwick Butler. Stockbridge residents Norman Rockwell and Daniel Chester French were parishioners of St. Paul’s.
The fourth meetinghouse of Salem’s First Church was built in 1826 on the same site as its three predecessors (now 121 Washington Street at Essex Street). Originally designed by Solomon Willard and Peter Banner of Boston, retail stores were on the ground floor with the church using the spaces above. The building was significantly altered in the Victorian Gothic style and much enlarged around 1874. When First Church merged with North Church in 1923, the former church was acquired by Daniel Low & Company, a company that sold fine gifts and jewelry. The store was in business from 1874 to 1995.
Mater Dolorosa Parish in Holyoke was established in 1896 as a Polish Roman Catholic parish. Worship took place in the basement of Our Lady of the Rosary Church until Mater Dolorosa Church, at 173 Lyman Street, was dedicated in 1901. Mater Dolorosa Catholic School opened a decade later. The church was closed in 2011 when Mater Dolorosa parish was merged with Holy Cross to form the new Our Lady of the Cross parish. This occurred came following a ruling from the Vatican after five years of appeals and court actions to prevent the closing. Next came controversy between the Catholic Diocese of Springfield and those who want to establish a Polish historic district on Lyman Street that would include the deconsecrated Mater Dolorosa Church. The proposed historic district was rejected by the City Council, but efforts to save the building continue.
The Baptist Church in the community of Still River in the town of Harvard was organized in 1776 by fourteen members of Harvard’s First Church. In 1782, the Baptist Society acquired the first meeting house building used in nearby Leominster. It was dismantled and reassembled as the Still River Baptist Church on land donated by the congregation’s first pastor, Dr. Isaiah Parker. The old meeting house was moved again to serve as a parsonage when the current church was built in 1832. Various alterations were made to the 1832 church over the years, including an addition in 1902. In 1967, the building, which is located at 213 Still River Road, was acquired by the Harvard Historical Society with the stipulation that they preserve the sanctuary, organ (added in 1870), and various furnishings. The Society converted the vestry into exhibit space
The City Hall of Holyoke, located at the corner of Dwight and High Streets (536 Dwight Street), was built in 1871-1876. It was planned as the Town Hall, but Holyoke had become a city by the time it was completed. It was built with granite quarried in Monson. The building was designed by Charles B. Atwood, who utilized elements of the Gothic and Romanesque Revival styles. During construction, Because Atwood was not delivering updated drawings in a timely manner, the design work was turned over to H.F. Kilburn in 1874. An annex in the same style was completed in 1913. The building has a second-floor auditorium, called the City Hall Ballroom, that features thirteen stained glass windows designed by Samuel West of the Ecclesiastical Stained Glass Works in Boston. In recent years the painted antique glass windows had fallen into disrepair. A campaign was organized that raised funds and the windows were restored last year. Other restoration work has also been done on the building’s exterior and interior. Read More