Tag Archives: Isaac Damon

Granite Stores, Northampton (1826)

During a visit to Boston in 1825, builder Isaac Damon of Northampton observed the new granite market buildings being constructed next to Faneuil Hall. After returning home, he acquired land with a granite quarry in Medfield and c. 1826-1828 constructed a pair of three-story granite front commercial buildings at 108-112 Main Street. These were built using traditional post-and-beam construction techniques, but with granite instead of wood. The ground floors and cornices of these buildings have been changed many times, but the central two granite floors are still visible.

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Isaac Damon House (1813)

Isaac Damon, a prominent builder based in Northampton in the early nineteenth century, built his own house on Bridge Street in 1813. Today the house contains the administrative offices of Historic Northampton, with a modern addition housing a museum and gift shop.

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Southwick Congregational Church (1824)

The original meeting house in Southwick of 1773, located in Southwick‘s central village, burned in August 1823 and was replaced with the current meeting house, built in 1824-1825. A Federal/Greek Revival structure, the Southwick Congregational Church is considered to be one of the finest works of its architect, Isaac Damon of Northampton. According to George C. Gardener, writing in The American Architect and Building News (Vol. XLVII, No. 996, Jan. 26, 1895):

Capt. Isaac Damon appears to have been the leading architect of Western Massachusetts from 1812 to 1840, his influence on public and ecclesiastical work being even greater than [Asher] Benjamin’s on domestic. He designed and built at least thirteen churches in this region and nearly all the town-halls and court-houses; his specialty, however, was bridges, and there are several of his drawings still preserved

As the church neared completion, on November 6, 1824, two letters signed by the men working on the church were placed in a box inside one of the columns. These were rediscovered during a restoration in 1950 (see pdf article) and reveal that the workers came, not from Southwick, but from many other towns in the region.

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Posted in Churches, Federal, Greek Revival, Southwick | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Old First Church, Springfield (1819)

The first Puritan settlers arrived in Springfield from Roxbury in 1636 and organized their church congregation in 1637, with George Moxon as their first minister. The first meetinghouse was built on the southeast corner of Court Square in 1645. It had a shingled roof and two turrets, one used for a bell and the other to guard against attacks by Indians. The second meeting house replaced the first in 1677. The third church building, built in 1752, had a steeple with a clock and a Rooster weathervane, one of three shipped to the colonies in 1750 (the other two went to First Church in Newburyport and South Church in Boston). The weathervane continued to be used on the fourth church building, built in 1819. The church’s most recent organ, built in 1958, was restored in 1997. The First Congregational Church continued to be used for services until the end of 2007, when declining membership led to the closure of the church and the disbanding of the congregation. In March, the city purchased the church, weathervane and organ, but many were concerned when the congregation auctioned off a number of historic items in April. The congregation eventually repurchased the valuable items and donated them to the Springfield Museums Association.

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Posted in Churches, Federal, Springfield | Tagged , | 4 Comments