Monthly Archives: April 2009

D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts (1934)

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Opened in 1934, the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is one of the museums on the Springfield Museum Quadrangle. The Art Deco style building was built in response to the bequest of Dr. & Mrs. James Philip Gray, who left their estate for the “selection, purchase, preservation, and exhibition of the most valuable, meritorious, artistic, and high class oil paintings obtainable,” the construction of a building to house them. The museum collections include art by American and European artists. The museum was recently named after Michele & Donald D’Amour. Donald D’Amour, who has donated a significant sum to the museum, is chairman and CEO of Big Y supermarkets.

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Posted in Art Deco, Museums, Springfield | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Connecticut Valley Historical Museum (1927)

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The Connecticut Valley Historical Society, based in Springfield, was incorporated in 1876. The Society originally held its meetings and housed its collections in the Springfield City Library, until a museum building, known as the William Pynchon Memorial Building, was constructed, next to the Springfield Science Museum, in 1927. The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, designed by the Springfield architect Max Westoff, is a Colonial Revival structure, based on a the Colonial homes of the Connecticut River Valley. The main entrance of the museum, with its broken scroll pediment, is modeled on such homes as the Samuel Porter House in Hadley and the Josiah Dwight House, originally built in Springfield and later moved to Deerfield. The Historical Museum formally joined the Springfield Museums Association in 1948.

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Posted in Colonial Revival, Museums, Springfield | Tagged | 1 Comment

Museum of Fine Arts (1909)

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Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts began in 1870 with space in the Boston Athenaeum. In 1876, the museum moved to a Gothic building on Copley Square. In 1907, the museum began planning its next move to a new location on the Fenway, where an interconnected building complex would be constructed over several years. Designed by Guy Lowell, the first section of the Classical Revival structure to be completed was the one on Huntington Avenue (above), finished in 1909, which features a central Greek temple portico with two symmetrical wings on either side. The next section was the Robert Dawson Evans Wing on the Fenway (below), completed in 1915, which features a long Ionic colonnade. Between 1916 and 1925, the John Singer Sargent created the art for the central Rotunda and Colonnade. Various additions have been made to the museum over the years, including the Decorative Arts Wing in 1928, the Forsyth Wickes Addition in 1968, the George Robert White Wing in 1970, and the I. M. Pei-designed West Wing in 1981. Currently, the museum is undergoing a new renovation and expansion. (more…)

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Union Meeting House, Storrowton (1834)

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Now part of the collection of historic buildings that make up Storrowton Village at the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield, the Union Meetinghouse was originally built jointly by four religious denominations in Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1834. The Meeting House was moved from the Smith’s Corner neighborhood of Salisbury to Storrowton in 1929. The pulpit came from another New Hampshire town and the 1851 bell is from a church in Neponset, Massachusetts.

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Union Trust Company Building (1907)

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The Union Trust Company building, at 1351 Main Street in Springfield, was built in 1907. The Beaux Arts style structure was designed by the architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns, with exterior decoration by John Evans. The building has also housed Northwestern Mutual Life and the Springfield Group. (more…)

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The J.P. Putnam House (1878)

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The Boston architect, J. Pickering Putnam, designed his own house, built in 1878 at the intersection of Newbury and Dartmouth Streets in Boston. With many references to Medieval architecture, this complex Queen Anne-style house features multiple towers and gables. The building now houses a restaurant.

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The Benjamin Hawkes House (1801)

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The Benjamin Hawkes House is located off Derby Street in Salem, between the Custom House and the Richard Derby House. The house was originally planned by Samuel McIntire as a home for Elias Hasket Derby in 1780, but was then abandoned in 1782, when Derby moved to a house near the center of town. Left unfinished for almost twenty years, in 1801 it was acquired by the shipbuilder, Benjamin Hawkes, who reduced the building’s size and altered it to accommodate two families. Today the Federal-style building is used as administrative offices by the Park Service for the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

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