Category Archives: Commercial

Springfield Street Railway Trolley Barn (1897)

Trolley Barn

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.

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Wollison-Shipton Building (1888)

Wollison-Shipton Building

The Wollison-Shipton Building, at 146-156 North Street in Pittsfield, was constructed of Philadelphia pressed brick, with cast iron detailing and plate glass windows and skylights for each of the four stores on the first floor. The second floor of the building contained the Y.M.C.A. and offices, the third floor more offices and the top floor had a photography gallery. The building‘s architect was H. Neil Wilson and the builder was builder was D.C. Munyan, who constructed a number of notable buildings in town.

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Former First Church/Daniel Low Building (1826)

Former Church, Salem

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.

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Old Custom House, Salem (1805)

Old Custom House

The building at 4-10 Central Street in Salem was built in 1805 as block of stores for William S. Gray and Benjamin H. Hathorne. It was built by John Chandler and Joseph McIntire and possibly designed by Joseph’s brother Samuel. Originally called the Central Building, it now known as the Old Custom House because it was used by the U.S. Custom Service in 1805-1807 and 1813-1819. The arched windows on the first floor were added during a 1970s restoration.

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Naumkeag Trust Company (1900)

Naumkeag Trust Company

The building at 217 Essex Street in Salem was built in 1900 to house the retail store of W.E. Hoyt Company. A decade later, the Hoyt Block was acquired by the Naumkeag Trust Company, which hired Boston architects Franklin H. Hutchins and Arthur W. Rice to remodel the interior to become a bank building. The history of the Naumkeag Trust Company is related in Vol. II of the Municipal History of Essex County in Massachusetts (1922):

The Naumkeag Bank was incorporated March 17, 1831, with $200,000 capital, subsequently increased to $500,000. It commenced business in the Benjamin Dodge store building, on Essex street, opposite the Essex House, then was moved to the Manning building, and in 1872 to the second floor of the Asiatic building, Washington street. David Pingree was its first president. In 1864 this institution was changed to the Naumkeag National Bank.

It then became the Naumkeag Trust Company, which was established October 7, 1909. The building is now home to The Gathering at Salem, an interdenominational Christian church.

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Parks Building (1873)

Parks Building (1873)

Oren B. Parks operated a grocery store in Westfield and became a successful businessman and civic leader in the late nineteenth century. He played a major role in developing the Northside section of Westfield. Around 1873 he built the three-story commercial building at 57-59 North Elm Street to accommodate his expanding business.

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Memorial Square Building (1911)

Memorial Square Building

Located in Springfield‘s Memorial Square neighborhood, near the former Memorial Congregational Church, now St. George Greek Orthodox Church, is the Memorial Square Building at 2291-2295 Main Street. Built in 1911 by the E. J. Pinney Company, the building (now called Memorial Square Apartments) has retail space on the first floor with five stories of apartments.

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