The building at 245 High Street in Holyoke was built c. 1885. It was originally owned and designed by architect James A. Clough. By 1888 the building was owned by Gilbert Russell and Archie J. Osborne, who ran a hardware and cutlery shop. By 1891, William W. Porter’s Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke Express, a trucking and teamsters service, operated out of the same shop. As described in the Hardware Dealers’ Magazine (May, 1918):
The firm of G. E. Russell & Co., which has been in business for 35 years in Holyoke. Mass, has changed its name to the Osborne Hardware Co. There is no change in the personnel of the firm. A. J. Osborne, whose name the firm adopts, has been conducting the business since 1907. Mrs. G. E. Russell’s interest purchased by Mr. Osborne.
Archie J. Osborne went with Mr. Russell as clerk to learn the hardware business. Six years later he was taken into the firm. Mr. Russell died in 1907 and since then Mr. Osborne has conducted the business.
Mr. Osborne is one of the charter members of the New England Hardware Dealers’ Association. He was its first vice president and was president in 1914; is also an active member of the Western Massachusetts Hardware Dealers’ Association and was president of that organization also. For thirty years or more Mr. Osborne has been engaged in the hardware trade. He was born in North Hadley, Mass, on Jan. 18, 1862, and attended the schools of that town.
Mr. Osborne is president of the Chamber of Commerce, an organization with which he has been actively connected years. He was vice president for a number of years, when he carried the burden of the association, being always ready to put his shoulder to the wheel in any movement for the betterment of Holyoke. He is also active as a member of the Rotary Club.
The building’s original first floor has been much altered. Just to the left of the Russell-Osborne Building is the Mayberry Building, 249-251 High Street, built c. 1881.
L. J. Rigali, a dealer in cigars and tobacco, erected the building at 341-346 High Street in Holyoke (on the right in the image above) in 1887. It was designed by George P. B. Alderman. Various businesses have occupied the building over the years. Just to the left of the Rigali building in the picture above is the building at 345-347 High Street, occupied by the YMCA from the late 1880s until 1893 and then occupied by the YWCA until 1910. In the late 1940s the two buildings were taken over by Henry A. Moquin (1919-1976), a dance instructor who restored the structures and had his dance studio on the third floors.
The commercial building at 338-346 North Street in Pittsfield was built c. 1913 on the site of the home of Dr. Lorenzo Waite. It has been variously attributed to architects George Haynes and Joseph McArthur Vance.
The William Todd Block, at 153-159 Main Street in Northampton (the building on the left in the image above), is a commercial/apartment building erected in 1870. It was designed by J.M. Miner. It replaced an earlier brick building on the site that was destroyed by fire in July 1870. As related in The Attractions of Northampton (1871), by Charles H. Chandler:
The year 1870 will long be remembered in Northampton on account of the two great fires which occurred, and the consequent impulse given to business by rebuilding. The fire of May 18 destroyed the Edwards Church and the North Block; that of July 19 the Warner House, Todd’s Block, and several smaller edifices. By these two fires the whole business center of the town was threatened, and in fact narrowly escaped destruction. As a result, the Edwards Church has been rebuilt on a new site in a superior manner, and the new Fitch Hotel rears its lofty front where the Warner House stood. Todd, Lee & Co. have erected a fine brick block on the old site of the Edwards Church, and W. H. Todd has rebuilt his block, and most of the other buildings burned have been replaced by better and more substantial structures. Besides, Messrs. Dawson, Fitch and Crafts have built a brick block on the corner of Main street and Strong avenue, and Wright & Co. have entirely remodeled their store, putting on a new front.
Next to the Todd Block, at 147-149 Main Street (the building on the right in the image above), is the Serio Block, built c. 1860. Originally called the Clapp and Johnson Block, it was part of what was known as granite row. The building’s second story was added during a renovation in 1870.
The building at 105-107 Elm Street in Westfield was erected in 1900 as the home of the YMCA. The Westfield YMCA was founded in 1888 (the dates 1888 and 1900 appear on the front of the building). Augustus W. Holton designed the building, which has a ground floor that has been used by many businesses over the years. A gymnasium was added to the building in 1903. The YMCA moved to a new building in 1950. Today the old YMCA is called the Rinnova Building. The first-floor commercial space was later home to Fine’s clothing store and more recently was leased by Westfield State University for a downtown art gallery. It is now home to Westfield on Weekends, which includes Westfield Creative Arts.
In 1868 Clinton K. Lambson purchased the property at 89 Elm Street in Westfield. There may have been a building on the property, built in 1860, or Lambson may have erected a new commercial building, c. 1868. The building would be home to Lambson Furniture Company for over 120 years. Up to the mid-1980s it was run by Rita Devine. As was common of furniture stores at the time, the company also included an undertaking business in its earlier years. The building underwent significant changes in 1924, when a fourth floor was added and the facade was altered: the original brick cornice was removed and the second floor was changed over to plate glass windows.
At 2273 Main Street and Carew Street in Springfield is a Romanesque-style structure known as the Trolley Barn. Designed by the local architectural firm of Gardner, Pyne & Gardner, it was built in 1897 and served as offices, terminal, garage, and maintenance facility for the Springfield Street Railway Company (formed in 1870). It was once one of several trolley barns along Main Street that serviced the city’s streetcars. Trolleys were eventually overtaken by buses and in 1958 the building was acquired by Peter Pan Bus Lines, which used it as both a bus garage and as a corporate office. Peter Pan later moved to a larger facility. The Trolley Barn was renovated in the early 1980s and then turned over to Coach Builders, Inc., a Peter Pan affiliate that that specialized in rebuilding and refurbishing old buses. A minivan crashed into the corner of the building on January 15, 2015.