National Savings and Trust Company Building, Washington, DC

The northeast corner of New York Avenue and 15th Street NW in Washington, DC, around 1910-1911. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Photo Company Collection.

The scene in 2018:

The origins of the National Savings and Trust Company date back to 1867, when Congress chartered the National Safe Deposit Company. It was located in an earlier building here at this corner, and it housed safe deposit boxes for Washington residents to store their valuables, at a time when this type of service was still a relatively new concept. Three years later, this company was joined by the National Savings Bank, which was located in the same building.

The two companies enjoyed a prominent location, diagonally across from the Treasury Building and only a block away from the White House, and in 1888, they moved into a new building here on this site, as shown in the first photo. It was built in brick, was five stories in height, and it originally extended 130 feet along 15th Street to the left, and 65 feet along New York Avenue to the right. It featured a Queen Anne-style design, with a distinctive clock and cupola atop the corner, and it was the work of noted Philadelphia architect James H. Windrim.

In 1890, the two companies merged to form the National Safe Deposit, Savings and Trust Company, which was later simplified to the National Savings and Trust Company in 1907. As the name was getting shorter, though, the bank was continuing to grow. In 1911, probably soon after the first photo was taken, the bank purchased the adjacent Lenman Building, seen on the right side of the scene. It was subsequently demolished, and in 1916 the bank built a 50-foot addition on the site, followed by another 50-foot addition in 1925. However, these 20th century additions featured the same architectural style and building materials as the original building, so the three sections are nearly indistinguishable from each other.

The expanded building would continue to serve as the headquarters of the National Savings and Trust Company throughout the 20th century, although in 1987 it changed its name to Crestar Bank. The company has since been acquired by SunTrust Bank, but this building remains in use as a branch of SunTrust, more than 130 years after it first opened its doors to banking customers. Overall, aside from the early 20th century additions, the appearance of the building has not changed much during this time, and in 1972 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

42-44 Mattoon Street, Springfield, Mass (2)

The twin houses at 42-44 Mattoon Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The scene in 2018:

These two photos show the same houses as an earlier post, just from a different angle. As discussed in that post, these two adjoining houses were built in 1888 on Mattoon Street, a street that is noted for its elegant late 19th century townhouses. Both houses, along with the one at 36 Mattoon on the far left side of the scene, were originally owned by Lebbeus C. Smith. He lived in a house nearby at 77 Elliot Street, but he used these houses as rental properties. The 1900 census shows both 42 and 44 Mattoon being used as rooming houses, with ten residents in 42 Mattoon and nine in 44 Mattoon.

This was the beginning of a steady decline for the houses on Mattoon Street, most of which had been designed as single-family homes before devolving into rooming houses. The house was long past its prime by the time the first photo was taken in the late 1930s, and by the 1960s most of the street was in poor condition. Some of the houses were demolished in the early 1970s, but most were ultimately restored, thanks to efforts by residents and preservationists. Today, Mattoon Street survives as the only street in Springfield that is lined by historic townhouses on both sides, and it is a part of the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Nathan Adams House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 1135 Worthington Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2018:

This elegant Queen Anne-style house was built in 1887 as the home of Dr. Nathan Adams, his wife Elizabeth, and their son, Nathan, Jr. An 1834 graduate of Yale, Dr. Adams came to Springfield in 1838, where he practiced medicine for many years. Later in life, he lived in New Haven for some time, but ultimately returned to Springfield. He was in his mid-70s when he and his family moved into this house, and he was only able to enjoy it for about a year before his death in 1888. Soon after, Elizabeth moved around the corner to a new, even larger house at 28 Ingersoll Grove, where she remained until her death in 1908.

By 1890, this house on Worthington Street was the home of Emily Jacobs, the widow of another noted physician, Dr. Horace Jacobs. She lived here until her death in 1898 at the age of 77, and her daughter Mary inherited the property. She was unmarried, but early 20th century census records show her living with several other family members, including her nephew Horace Rice, who was here in 1910, and her brother Chauncey A. Jacobs, who was here in 1920. Like his father, Chauncey was a physician, but he was 76 years old and evidently retired by this point. Both siblings lived here for the rest of their lives, until Chauncey’s death in 1923 and Mary’s in 1927.

The next owner of this house was David E. Tebo, a former woolen mill manager who had previously lived in Enfield, Massachusetts. He came to Springfield in the late 1920s, and his relocation was likely spurred by the imminent construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, which would flood Enfield and three other neighboring towns. The 1930 census shows him here in this house, along with his daughter, Anne T. Blair, who was an attorney. Both were still living here when the first photo was taken in the late 1930s, and David Tebo died a few years later in 1945, when he was about 90 years old.

Anne Blair continued to live here until 1969, when she finally sold the property about 40 years after she and her father had moved in. The house has remained well-preserved since then, on both the exterior and interior, and it stands as an excellent example of the many fine Queen Anne-style homes that were built in the McKnight neighborhood during the late 19th century. Along with the other houses in the area, it is now part of the McKnight Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Sarah A. Dale House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 1119 Worthington Street, at the corner of Thompson Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2018:

This Queen Anne-style house was built in 1886, and was originally the home of Sarah A. Dale, a 70-year-old widow whose husband, brass foundry operator Lombard Dale, had died a decade earlier in 1876. She lived here with two of her unmarried daughters, Ellen and Lizzie, until her death in 1902, and the two sisters subsequently inherited the property. They remained here throughout the first two decades of the 20th century, but Ellen died in 1920. Lizzie was still living here as late as 1926, but by the 1930 census she was living in the Hotel Kimball, and she died later that year.

By 1929, this house was owned by investment banker Raymond L. Stratford, who lived here with his wife Carmen and their two young children, Raymond Jr. and Joan. However, they were only here for a few years, and had moved out by the mid-1930s. The house went through several more ownership changes during the 1930s, and by the end of the decade it was owned by Daniel A. Leary, an Irish immigrant who lived here with his sisters Anna, Katherine, and Mary. All four were unmarried and in their 60s or 70s, and they continued to live here until at least the early 1950s.

The first photo shows the house as it appeared in either 1938 or 1939, around the same time that the Learys purchased the property. However, at some point either during or soon after their ownership, the house underwent some dramatic changes. Like many other large homes in the McKnight neighborhood, it was converted into a boarding house in the mid-20th century. The exterior was also heavily altered, including the removal of the front porches and the installation of asbestos shingles on the walls. The house remained in this condition for many years, but it is now in the process of being restored to its original appearance. The first photo was taken in early 2018, and more work has been done since then, but it shows how the asbestos shingles have been restored, the clapboards have been painted, and the porches are being rebuilt.

Benjamin R. Stillman House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 97 Florida Street in Springfield, around 1910. Image courtesy of Jim Boone.

The house in 2018:

This elegant Queen Anne-style house was built in 1887 as the home of Benjamin R. Stillman, an insurance executive who was the general agent for the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company. He and his wife Jennie moved to Springfield in 1883, and lived at 212 Bay Street for several years before purchasing this property a few blocks away on Florida Street. He evidently tore down an earlier house that had stood on the site, and moved into this house upon its completion in 1887. At the time, he and Jennie had two young children, Daisy and Cyrus, and they lived here for about three years. However, in 1890 Stillman was appointed secretary of the Safety Car Heating and Lighting Company of New York, and the family relocated to New York.

In 1891, the property was sold to Homer L. Bosworth, a businessman who was originally from Otis, Massachusetts. He was born in 1834, and held a variety of jobs in his early life. He moved west in the late 1850s, selling subscription books in Missouri before moving to Illinois, where he taught school, worked in the county clerk’s office, and opened a store. None of these careers lasted long, and he eventually made his way to Washington, D.C., where he was appointed as a treasury clerk during the Civil War.

Bosworth remained with the Treasury Department until 1871, and the following year he moved to England, where he entered the condensed milk business. This proved highly profitable, and he became wealthy during his time overseas. He and his wife Delia, along with their two daughters, Mary and Anne, lived in England until 1885, when they returned to the United States. Homer was in his early 50s at this point, and was largely retired from active business. However, here in Springfield he served on several corporate boards, including those of the Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company, the Springfield Gas Company, and the Springfield Institution for Savings.

In addition to this house in Springfield, the Bosworths also owned a home in Hyannisport on Cape Cod, where they spent their summers, and a home in Orlando, where they spent their winters. In his semi-retirement, Homer enjoyed a life of leisure. He was an avid golfer, hunter, and fisherman, and he was also a member of the Colony Club, one of the city’s most exclusive social clubs of the era. The first photo was taken during his residence here, and it shows the house, along with the carriage house on the left side. In 1923, the upper floor of this carriage house was converted into an apartment, which was reportedly used by the family’s chauffeur.

Homer Bosworth died in 1924, and Delia died two years later. Their daughter Mary inherited the property, and the 1940 census shows her living here with her husband, Hinsdale Smith, and a housekeeper. However, she died later that same year, and in 1941 the house was sold to Violet Tiffany. She converted it into a boarding house, and rented rooms to tenants until her death in 1972. She made some minor cosmetic changes, including repainting and repapering the interior, along with repainting the exterior with a solid brown color. Otherwise, though, the house remained well-preserved despite becoming a boarding house.

In 1976, the house was purchased by Jim and Merry Boone, who restored both the exterior and interior. That same year, it became a contributing property in the newly-established McKnight Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Boones have carefully maintained the house ever since, and it stands as one of the best-preserved homes in the McKnight neighborhood. As a longtime resident of the area, Jim has also been a valuable resource for previous blog posts about McKnight homes, and he graciously provided the c.1910 photo for this post, along with much of the historical information about his house.

Andrew L. Fennessy House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 29 Buckingham Place in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

The house in 2018:

This ornate Queen Anne-style house was built in 1884, and was originally the home of banker Andrew L. Fennessy. At the time, he was cashier for J. G. Mackintosh & Co., but in 1886 he started the banking firm of Fennessy, Armstrong & Co. This business evidently prospered, because within just a few years he was building a new, much larger home on Maple Street. The house was completed in 1888, but his stay there was also short-lived, because in 1891 he moved to Boston and sold his Maple Street residence to paper manufacturer and philanthropist Nathan Bill.

In the meantime, his former home here on Buckingham Place was purchased by Edward H. Phelps, the treasurer and editor of the Phelps Publishing Company. This Springfield-based company had its origins in 1878, when Phelps left his position with the Springfield Union newspaper in order to purchase the New England Homestead. Phelps revived this moribund agricultural journal, and subsequently expanded his company’s holdings to include Farm and HomeAmerican Agriculturalist, and the Orange Judd Farmer. He remained with the company until 1890, when, shortly after purchasing this house, he decided to retire from publishing because of poor health. However, his ailments did not prevent him from starting the Phelps Music Company, which he ran until his death in 1897 at the age of 55.

Following his death, this house remained in the Phelps family for about 20 years. The 1910 census shows his widow, Harriet, living here with their son Walter, his wife Flora, and their daughters Harriet and Dorothy. Walter carried on the family tradition by publishing the Springfield Weekly Guide, and he lived here with his mother until her death in 1914. By 1917, though, he and Flora had moved to a newly-built house on Trinity Terrace in the Forest Park neighborhood, and this house on Buckingham Place was subsequently sold.

The next owner of this house was G. Fred Estey, the treasurer of the H. W. Carter Paper Company. A native of New Brunswick, Estey came to the United States as a teenager. He held a variety of jobs in Boston during the late 19th century, eventually working for many years in the accounting department of the Boston Rubber Shoe Company before coming to Springfield in 1908 to work for H. W. Carter Paper. He and his wife Geneva had two children, Helen and Roger, who were born during the family’s time in Boston, but Geneva died in 1909, shortly after the move to Springfield. The 1920 census shows Estey living here along with Helen, Roger, his aunt Ester Sutherland, and a servant. They would remain here until the mid-1920s, but by 1926 Estey had moved to a house on Westford Circle.

Subsequent owners of this house included Henry G. Miller,a phonograph salesman who was living here during the 1930 census along with his wife Carrie and their four children. By 1933, though, the house had changed hands again, and was the home of Elwin O. Rowell, an engineer for the Boston & Maine Railroad. He and his wife Dell were still living here when the first photo was taken in the late 1930s, and the 1940 census shows them renting a room to Horace G. Clark, a city police officer.

Today, this house is one of the many fine Victorian-era homes that still stand in Springfield’s McKnight neighborhood. At one point during the 20th century, the house was covered in aluminum siding, but this has since been removed and the exterior has been restored to its original appearance. As a result. the present-day view shows very few changes since the first photo was taken some 80 years ago, and the house is now part of the McKnight Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.