Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, Mass

Looking south on Main Street from the corner of Harrison Ave., around 1910. Photo from Views and Facts of Springfield, Mass. (1910).

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The same scene in 2014:

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The Forbes & Wallace department store was established in Springfield in 1874 at the corner of Main and Vernon Streets (today Boland Way), and by the turn of the last century it had become a major shopping destination in downtown Springfield.  At some point after the first photo was taken, the building was demolished and replaced by a much larger department store building, seen in the photo in this article from the Springfield Republican.  However, with increasing competition from suburban shopping malls, the store closed in 1976 and the building was demolished in 1982.  It was replaced by Monarch Place, which was completed in 1987 and is the tallest building in the city.

The original Forbes & Wallace building may be long gone, but its neighbor to the south, the Haynes Hotel, survives to this day.  The hotel was built in 1865, and for many years was one of the city’s premier hotels.  It was used as a hotel until 1943, when it was converted into commercial and office spaces.  Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and although it is now surrounded by tall, modern skyscrapers, it still looks much the same as it did when it was completed 150 years ago.

3 thoughts on “Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, Mass

  1. I look forward to reblogging this on my site, transcribingmemory.com. My grandmother’s diaries from the 30s and 40s are from Forbes and Wallace, which encouraged the search. Thanks for this resource!

  2. I have a beautiful weather mate original fur lined coat from Forbes & Wallace.It is an original left by an elder we lost.Looks brand new.Is there any of these stores still around?

    • No, Forbes & Wallace has been out of business since the 1970s. The coat would have to be at least 40 years old, though, so I’m sure there are vintage clothing stores around that would be interested in buying it.

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