Edwin S. Gardner House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 250 Maple Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2017:

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Edwin S. Gardner was a lawyer who, for many years, lived in a fine house on Ridgewood Place. However, in 1928 he and his wife Harriet, along with their children Mary and Edwin, Jr., moved into this house. Designed by John Barnard and built at a cost of $48,000, it was a significant step up from their earlier home, not to mention the sweeping views of the city and the surrounding landscape. The Tudor Revival style was popular during this time period, and a number of such homes were built here on Maple Street. Many of them, including this one, are so well-designed that they seem as though they would fit in better on an English country estate than here in a New England city.

The Gardners did not remain in the house for to long, though. By the mid-1930s they had significantly downsized and were living elsewhere, perhaps as a result of the Great Depression. In their place, the house was owned by Ida Day, the widow of Robert W. Day, who had been the president of the United Electric Light Company. She lived here with her son Winsor and his wife Sarah, although Sarah died in 1938, around the time that the first photo was taken. Ida died in 1942, and Winsor left the house soon after and moved to the Forest Park neighborhood.

In 1977, the house became part of the Ames/Crescent Hill Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Very little has changed with its exterior, and the house survived the June 1, 2011 tornado. Today, it stands among many other late 19th and early 20th century mansions that overlook the city from atop the hill.

Frederic M. Jones House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 327 Maple Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2016:

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Many of the early 20th century mansions on Maple Street were built in the popular Tudor Revival style of the era, including this one, which was built in 1914. At the time, Maple Street was home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents, and this house was the home of Frederic M. Jones, a banker who was the president of Springfield’s Third National Bank. By 1920, he was living here with his wife Florence and their six year old daughter Emily. The family of three was joined here by an equal number of servants, all of whom were immigrants from Sweden. A decade later in 1930, the family was still living here, this time with two servants, and the house was valued at $58,700, or over $850,000 in today’s dollars.

Frederic and Florence still lived in the house when the first photo was taken. He died in 1946, and Florence owned the property until her own death in 1964. Nearly 80 years after this photo was taken, very little has changed in the house’s exterior appearance. It remains a single-family home, and is an excellent surviving example of the early 20th century mansions on Maple Street. It provides an interesting contrast to the Julius Appleton House, its neighbor to the left. Although built only a few decades earlier, this stick-style mansion represents a dramatic difference in architectural tastes of the era. Today, both houses are part of the Ames/Crescent Hill District on the National Register of Historic Places.

353 Maple Street, Springfield, Mass

The house at the corner of Maple and Pine Streets in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2016:

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This Tudor Revival mansion on Maple Street was built in 1899, and was the home of Henry G. Chapin, who lived here with his wife Susie, their children Katherine and Russell, and three servants. Henry was a Harvard graduate who worked as the secretary and later treasurer of the Chapin and Gould Paper Company. He lived here until 1917, when he was killed in a car accident on Allen Street, at the age of 57.

By 1920, the house was owned by Ambia C. Harris. She was the daughter of Daniel L. Harris, who had been a prominent civil engineer, railroad executive, and mayor of Springfield in the 19th century. Ambia never married, and spent much of her life at her parents’ house at the corner of Chestnut and Pearl Streets, but moved here to Maple Street when she was close to 60 years old. In the 1920 census, she was living here alone, except for two servants.

Ambia Harris died in 1925, and by 1930 her niece Corrine was living here with her husband, Frederick L. Everett, and their two teenage daughters, Jane and Sarah. Frederick was a physician, and their house was valued at $25,000, which was a considerable sum in the midst of the Great Depression. At the time, they also employed two live-in servants, Jane and Charles Long. They were a married couple who had immigrated from Scotland in 1907, and they worked as a butler and a cook.

Frederick and Corrine were still living here when the first photo was taken, but they died in 1948 and 1949, respectively. Their mansion is no longer a single-family home, although it still stands as one of the many historic 19th century homes on Maple Street. From this angle, the only significant change has been the front porches, which are now enclosed. Like the other houses in the area, it is located within the Ames/Crescent Hill District on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the city’s somewhat overlapping Maple Hill Local Historic District.

John D. Shuart House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 393 Maple Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2016:

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This home was one of many large Tudor Revival-style houses that were built on Maple Street in the early 20th century. Completed in 1923, it was the home of John D. Shuart, who was the assistant treasurer for the Springfield Glazed Paper Company. Shuart was born in 1894, and was the son of William H. Shuart, who was the president of the paper company. He attended Williams College. but left during his junior year to enter the Navy during World War I. In 1917, before heading overseas, he married Harriet A. Dickinson, the daughter of former Springfield mayor Henry S. Dickinson. After the war they lived in the house next door at 403 Maple Street for a few years before moving into this house in 1923.

During the time that he lived in this house, John served several terms on the city’s Board of Aldermen, and he was also involved in political and social organizations. However, by the time the first photo was taken, the house was for sale. A year or two later, in the 1940 census, the family had significantly downsized. Perhaps a result of the Great Depression, they were living in an apartment at 169 Maple Street by then. John was no longer working for his father’s paper company, and was instead the vice president of a vending machine company. He was by no means struggling, though, and the census lists his income as being $4,500, or nearly $80,000 in today’s dollars.

Some 80 years after the Shuarts moved out of here, the building is no longer a private residence, and is now owned by the Hampden Berkshire Tuberculosis & Respiratory Disease Association. The porch on the right side has been completely enclosed, and the front lawn was paved over to make a parking lot. However, most of the exterior retains its original appearance, and the house forms part of the city’s Maple Hill Local Historic District.