Category Archives: Commercial

Old Draper Hotel (1871)

Old Draper Hotel

The Warner House, also known as the Warner Tavern or Warner’s Coffee House, was for years the most popular public house in Northampton. After it was destroyed by fire in 1870, a new building, planned by J.M. Miner, was constructed on its former location on Main Street. Called the Fitch Hotel, it consisted of a central block flanked by two wings. Only the westernmost wing survives today. It features an “F” monogram in the center of the roof pediment of the façade. The hotel, located at 179 Main Street, later became the Draper Hotel. The hotel is described in an article (“Industrial Northampton”) that appeared in Western New England (Vol. I, No. 11, October, 1911):

Northampton is unusually well-equiped, for a city of its size, with high-class hotels and restaurants. The Draper, the most prominent hotel in Northampton, is favorably known throughout the country as a result of its entertaining well the people from almost everywhere who are drawn to Northampton by college exercises and by business affairs. The Draper compares favorably in quality with hotels in large cities. The rathskeller is particularly well known among men who have occasion to visit Northampton. The hotel aims to provide its patrons with whatever they wish and to its excellent dining room and rathskeller has recently been added a “self-service” restaurant and lunch room where one may get a wholesome meal in a short time and at small cost. The Draper offers both American and European rates.

Share Button
Posted in Commercial, Hotels, Italianate, Northampton | Leave a comment

Simmons Block (1885)

Simmons Block

The Simmons Block is a Queen Anne-style house at 86-90 Park Street in Adams. Built c. 1885 by businessman by A.H. Simmons, it originally had retail space for two stores on the first floor and the Simmons residence on the second floor. The building displays the exuberant variety of Victorian design.

Share Button
Posted in Adams, Commercial, Houses, Queen Anne, Stick Style | Leave a comment

Reuben Whitcomb House & Store (1825)

11 Fairbank St., Harvard

The house at 11 Fairbank Street in Harvard was built between 1823 and 1831 by Reuben Whitcomb, who used it as both a residence (the south section) and a store (the north section). Whitcomb’s widow sold the building in 1865 to Alfred Farwell, who continued its use as a residence/store. For some years, the store section had been used by Gale and Dickson, owners of the town’s General Store, first for storing grain and then as a roller skating rink! In 1895, W.P. Farwell converted the former store area into a two-family residence. In 1946, Rachel and John McTigue bought the house from Gertrude Farwell Sawyer and restored the building to become the Harvard Inn, which had eight rooms for guests, three dining rooms and two sitting rooms. The Inn was converted to apartments in 1953 and from 1993 to 2012 served as affordable housing for the elderly.

Share Button
Posted in Colonial Revival, Commercial, Federal, Harvard, Houses | Leave a comment

Clarke/Benjamin Block (1884)

Clarke/Benjamin Block

The Clarke Block in Stockbridge was built in 1884 by druggist William B. Clarke. It replaced an earlier drug store that had stood in front of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. When the old store burned down, the area where it stood was converted into a front yard for the church. Clarke built his new store on a lot east of the church. In addition to the store, the building housed the town’s post office. The building was later called the Benjamin Block for Eugene Benjamin, who ran the store and lived next door. In 1923, he moved the building to its present location, at 31 Main Street. It was soon after stuccoed and remodeled in the Colonial Revival style. Its original roof and many of its stylistic features, such as a Stick Style gable screen, modillions, and a hooded stained glass window, were replaced. Retained from the earlier facade are the angled second floor front bay windows and a stained glass segmental-arched window on the west side.

Share Button
Posted in Colonial Revival, Commercial, Stockbridge | Leave a comment

Bond Corner Store (1929)

Bond Corner Store

In 1811, the Bond family opened a store at the corner of Main and Central Streets in Boylston. When the store burned down in 1929 it was replaced by a new building, which today has the appearance of an American Foursquare house (1 Central Street) set above a modern storefront on its west side (700 Main Street). It was known as the Bond Corner Store, then the Boylston Center Store and is now the Boylston Deli.

Share Button
Posted in Boylston, Commercial, Foursquare | Leave a comment

Clark Block, Worcester (1854)

Clark Block

The Clark Block, located at 401-409 Main Street in Worcester (not to be confused with the Clark Building at 492 Main Street, which does not survive today), was built in 1854 for William Clark to plans by Elbridge Boyden. For many years it remained one of the grandest buildings in the city, housing many institutions and businesses. In the 1850s, the adjacent Richmond and Piper Blocks were constructed. J.H. Walker acquired the Clark Block in 1884 and built an addition on the Mechanics Street side of the building. The Clark Block originally had a facade of thirteen bays along Main Street, but six of these (as well as the adjoining Richmond and Piper Blocks) have been covered over. The first two floors of the remaining bays have also been covered, leaving only part of the original facade visible.

Share Button
Posted in Commercial, Italianate, Worcester | Leave a comment

New England Telegraph and Telephone Company Building, Holyoke (1931)

322 Maple St., Holyoke

The New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, now Verizon New England, Inc., was founded in 1883. Am I right in assuming this is the same as the New England Telegraph and Telephone Company? Having just previously occupied (from 1902) a building at the corner of Maple and Suffolk Streets in Holyoke, that company moved into a new Art Deco structure, located two blocks south (at 322 Maple Street), in 1931. The building has lost much of its original ornament.

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco, Commercial, Holyoke | Leave a comment