Category Archives: Schools

South Maple Street School (1888)

Westfield Grange Hall

The former South Maple Street School, a two-room brick schoolhouse built in 1888, is located at 89 South Maple Street in Westfield. The school was in continuous use until 1918 and was then unoccupied until 1931, when it became a Grange Hall for Westfield Grange #20. An entryway to the cellar kitchen was added to the building’s front facade around 1960.

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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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Schoolhouse, Hancock Shaker Village (1976)

Replica of Hancock Shaker Village Schoolhouse

The Hancock Shaker school district at Hancock Shaker Village was formally established on March 2nd, 1820. Initially serving children in the Shaker Village, the Shakers’ schoolhouse was later used as a public school. By 1934 the original school house had been sold, moved just east of the village and converted into a private home. The Hancock Shaker Village museum created a replica in 1976 based on measured drawings of the original structure.

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Corcoran School (1900)

Corcoran School

The Corcoran School, at 40 Walnut Street in Clinton, opened in 1900 as a public grammar school. It is the third school to occupy the southwest corner of Walnut and Church Streets since 1846: the original wooden schoolhouse on the site was replaced by a high school, built in 1854, which became a grammar school in the 1880s and stood until it was taken down in 1899 in preparation for building the current structure. Designed by Boston architect Charles J. Bateman, the school was originally called the New Grammar School or School House #10, until 1918 when it was officially named in honor of John W. Corcoran, a former member of the school committee. Closed as a school in 1981, the building was rehabilitated in the 1990s to become the Corcoran House, an assisted living facility. The building has two notable facades, as seen in the images above and below.

Corcoran School

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North High School, Worcester (1889)

The photograph above shows the original 1889 North High School Building at 46 Salisbury Street in Worcester. Designed by Fuller & Delano, the impressive Romanesque Revival structure served as a grammar school (called the Salisbury Street School) until it became a high school in 1911. (more…)

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Citizens’ Hall (1870)

Citizens’ Hall is a mansard-roofed Second Empire building located in the former industrial village of Curtisville, now called Interlaken, in the town of Stockbridge. Designed by Charles T. Rathburn, Citizens’ Hall was built in 1870 as a district schoolhouse, with a public meeting hall on the second floor. Used less frequently as a meeting place after the town’s district schools were consolidated, the building was restored in the 1970s by Old Curtisville, Inc. (pdf). IS183, a non-profit community art school founded in 1991, leased Citizens’ Hall before merging with Old Curtisville, Inc. in 2005. As the building‘s new owners, IS183 completed exterior repairs in May, 2009.

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State Normal Training School (1899)

At 27 Washington Street in Westfield is a building constructed in 1899-1900 as the State Normal Training School, where student teachers gained experience from 1900 to 1956. Designed by the architectural firm of Gardner, Pyne & Gardner of Springfield, the building is one of only two nineteenth-century structures which survive from the State Normal School at Westfield, later called Westfield State Teachers College, which is today Westfield State University. This school was first established by Horace Mann in 1838 in Barre and became the first coeducational public training school in the nation. The school closed in 1841, but reopened in Westfield in 1844. In 1956, the training school building became a regular elementary school called the Washington Street School. It later was used by the Westfield District Court until 2002. The vacant building was reacquired by Westfield State University in 2006 and then sold to a developer in 2011 to become market-rate student housing.

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