Category Archives: Commercial

Miss Florence Diner (1941)

Miss Florence Diner

Miss Florence Diner, located at 99 Main Street in the Florence section of Northampton, is a modified 1941 barrel-roofed diner manufactured by the Worcester Lunch Car Company. The modifications were made in the late 1940s when, to increase its size, the diner was remodeled with additions that gave it an L-shape and a cross-barrel roof. The home of the diner‘s original owner, Maurice Alexander, was later attached to the diner and opened as a restaurant.

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Courant Item Building (1902)

Coulter Press

The building at 156 Church Street in Clinton was built in 1902 and is known as the Coulter Press Building or the Courant Item Building. It was the home of two newspapers published by the Coulter family: the Clinton Courant (published 1865 to 1962) and the Clinton Daily Item (published since 1893). The building continues as the home of the Coulter Press.

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Miss Adams Diner (1949)

Miss Adams Diner

A diner has existed at the site of the Miss Adams Diner in Adams since the 1930s. The current prefabricated diner, a 1949 Worcester #821, was delivered on December 7, 1949. The original porcelain panels had been replaced with faux stonework. The diner has had many owners over the years and been known by various names.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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