Monthly Archives: November 2012

First Churches of Northampton (1877)

First Churches of Northampton is made up of the combined congregations of the First Church of Christ and the First Baptist Church. The first meeting house of the town’s Puritan settlers was constructed in 1655 on what became known as “Meeting House Hill,” near where the courthouse stands today. A new meeting house, further up the hill, was then built in 1661. The third meeting house was built in 1737, during the pastorate of Jonathan Edwards. It was replaced in 1812 by what became known as the “Old Church,” a Federal-style edifice, designed by Isaac Damon. After it was destroyed by fire in 1876, it was replaced by the current church building, built in 1877 and designed by Peabody and Stearns.

The Baptist Church in Northampton was founded in 1822 by Benjamin Willard, an itinerant Baptist missionary. A church building, designed by Isaac Damon, was dedicated on West Street in 1829. Repairs were made to the church after a fire on December 29, 1863. A new church edifice was dedicated in 1904. The First Baptist Church of Northampton merged with the First Church of Christ in 1988

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Clovis Robert Block (1888)

The Clovis Robert Block, at 338-348 Main Street in Holyoke, is a stylistically Eclectic Victorian commercial structure, with apartment space on the upper floors, completed in 1888. The the building‘s front facade has a distinctive Queen Anne-style three-story projecting central bay made of copper. It was constructed during a period when many French-Canadians were immigrating to Holyoke and seeking housing. Main Street was being extensively developed at the time. The Clovis Robert Block, designed by G.P.B. Alderman, was constructed originally in 1881 and expanded in 1888. It was built by Clovis Robert, a French-Canadian, who came to Holyoke in 1872. He worked as a blacksmith and became wealthy in the real estate business, encouraging other French-Canadians to save their money and do the same.

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Phoenix Building, Holyoke (1910)

The large commercial building at 592-604 Dwight Street and 221-233 Maple Street in Holyoke was built in 1910 for the Phoenix Realty Company. Designed by Lucius L. Bridge, the Phoenix Building was constructed of steel and reinforced concrete to make the structure fireproof.

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Posted in Commercial, Holyoke, Renaissance Revival | 1 Comment

Charles Webb House (1903)

Built around 1903 for Charles Webb, a granite merchant, the house at 34 Cedar Street in Worcester displays the half-timbering of the Tudor Revival style. The house is now used as office space.

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Dr. Thomas Williams House (1748)

Happy Thanksgiving! Located along the main street of the village of Deerfield is a house, now painted a shade of yellow, which was built in 1748. It was originally the home of Dr. Thomas Williams. He was appointed surgeon to the to the regular and provincial troops by Royal Governor William Shirley and served in King George’s War and the French and Indian War. George Sheldon, in his book, A History of Deerfield Massachusetts (1895), writes that Dr. Williams (b. 1718)

came to Dfd. 1789; lived on No. 9; became a prominent figure as a man of affairs, as well as in his profession; was surgeon in the abortive Can[adian] expedition 1746 and for the line of forts; he left Fort Mass. only two days before its capture in 1746; was surgeon in the regt. of his brother Ephraim, at the battle of Lake George, Sept. 8, 1755, and dressed the wounds of Baron Dieskau, the captured commander of the Fr. army; in the campaign of 1756 he was lieut.-col.; rep 2 yrs; selectman 2; town clerk 17; judge of probate and justice of the court of common pleas; and had an extensive professional practice; d. Sept. 28, 1775.

A slave owner himself, Dr. Williams kept records of the treatment he gave to enslaved Africans and free blacks in Deerfield. Slave owners sometimes paid their debts to the doctor with their slaves’ labor. Upon the death of Dr. Williams, his practice was continued by his apprentice, Dr. Elihu Ashley (1750-1817), a son of Rev. Jonathan Ashley, who lived a few houses down the street from the doctor’s house.

Early in the nineteenth century, the exterior of the house was updated in the Federal style, when the original gambrel roof was removed, the front portico was added, and fanlights (not pictured above) were placed in the gable ends.

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John L. Mather House (1882)

The John L. Mather House, at 275 Elm Street in Northampton, is a Queen Anne style residence with some distinctively English elements (note the central gable). The house was built in 1882 for John L. Mather, a mason and contractor who served as mayor of Northampton in 1897 and again in 1899-1900.

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Hampden National Bank (1825)

The building at 6 Main Street in Westfield has gone through many changes over the years. It was built in 1825 as the Hampden National Bank on land provided by James Fowler, who served as the bank’s president until 1842. Originally, the building had a Federal or Greek Revival style facade with four freestanding columns supporting a large pediment. In 1853, the facade was completely altered to become an Italianate brownstone. The expanding bank moved to a new building next door in 1924. Since then, other businesses have occupied the original bank building. The building was damaged by fire in 1974. At some point, the facade on the first floor of the building was completely altered to its present appearance and the bank sign atop the building was removed. (more…)

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