Turnverein Block, Springfield, Mass

The Springfield Co-Operative Bank building at 81 State Street, Springfield, Mass, around 1938-1939. Photo courtesy of Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The building in 2014:

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This building at 81 State Street was built in 1888 as the home of the Turnverein Society, a German-American social club.  In the 1920s, the façade was renovated in line with contemporary styles, although the rest of the building reveals the earlier architectural design.  By the time the first photo was taken, it was Springfield Co-Operative Bank, and the building continued to be used as a bank until at least the 1980s.  Today, the building is within the footprint of the planned MGM Springfield casino, and will be demolished, along with the tall annex to 1200 Main Street, which is seen directly behind the Turnverein Block.

Nayasset Club, Springfield, Mass

The Nayasset Club on State Street in Springfield, opposite the Hampden County Courthouse, around 1910. Photo from View Book of Springfield, Massachusetts (1910).

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The same location in 2014:

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I previously mentioned the Nayasset Club in this post, where the club’s building can be seen on the right-hand side of State Street.  Here, the full building can be seen in the first photo, and it appears to have been completed right around the time when the photo was taken.  I don’t know what became of the club, but the building is now a parking lot, and soon this site will be developed as an MGM casino.

State Street, Springfield, Mass

State Street in Springfield, around 1910-1913. Photo from Progressive Springfield, Massachusetts (1913).

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State Street in 2014:

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It will be interesting to do another “now” photo in a couple years, because this scene will be changing soon.  Taken looking east on State Street from in front of the Hampden County Hall of Justice, this scene shows several buildings that will be demolished or substantially altered when the casino is built.  The building on the right-hand side of the 2014 photo is the United Electric Company building, which had just been built shortly before the first photo was taken, and will be (mostly) demolished in the near future, with the casino retaining only the facade.  A few other buildings along State Street will also either be demolished or have just he facade saved.

Other buildings in the photos include the Court Square Hotel, which extends across the block from Elm Street to State Street, and the Nayasset Club building, on the far right of the first photo.  The Nayasset Club was a social organization that at the time included many of Springfield’s prominent citizens.  The building is now gone, and in its place is a parking lot across from the old Hampden County Courthouse, which is barely visible on the left-hand side of the 2014 photo.

YWCA Building, Springfield, Mass

The YWCA building on Howard Street in Springfield, around 1910. Photo from View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The building in 2014:

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The building’s appearance hasn’t changed much over the past century, but its use has.  It was built in 1907 as a residential building for the YWCA, after the organization moved from its old location a block away on Bliss Street.  It continued to be used by the YWCA until at least the 1980s, but today it is the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center, a minimum security facility for alcohol-related offenders.  However, it probably won’t be for long – Howard Street is right in the middle of the planned casino development, so the days appear to be numbered for the historic building.

Springfield Women’s Club, Springfield, Mass

The Springfield Women’s Club building at the corner of Spring Street and Frost Street, around 1906-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The building in 2014:

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The first photo was taken around the time that the Springfield Women’s Club building opened on Frost Street.  A few changes have been made to the building over the years, including the addition of five windows on the Spring Street side of the building and a set of double doors beneath them.  Today, though, the overgrown weeds around the building contrast with the stately trees surrounding it in the first photo.  Both the building and the neighborhood have obviously seen better days, although I don’t know the current status of the structure.

Old Masonic Building, Springfield, Mass

The old Masonic Building in Springfield, around 1910, from The View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The same building in 2012:

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The old Masonic Building at the corner of State and Main was built around 1893, and was used by the Masons until 1924, when they built a new temple further up State Street. At some point, the ornate sandstone facade was replaced with a more bland brick appearance, and the clock tower was either moved back or replaced entirely. However, there is a small surviving part of the original facade – the sandstone arch above the doorway on the left-hand side is still there, complete with a Masonic symbol above it.