Witch House, Salem, Mass

The Witch House, at the northwest corner of Essex and Summer Streets in Salem, around 1901:

The house in 2019:

The Witch House in Salem is one of the oldest houses in Massachusetts, and is the only surviving building in Salem with direct ties to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.  The house was owned by one of the judges, Jonathan Corwin.  It was likely built in the 1660s or 1670s, although some place its date in the 1640s or even earlier.  The 1901 photo was taken prior to its restoration and move; a street widening project necessitated moving it about 35 feet, and the house was restored to its presumed 17th century appearance, which did not include the attached storefront from the 1901 photo.

Albany City Hall, Albany, NY

City Hall in Albany, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Albany

City Hall in 2009:

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Albany’s current City Hall was built in 1883 to replace an earlier building that burned in a fire.  It was designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and not much has changed about its appearance in the past 100 years, other than the addition of the clock face on the tower.

Easthampton from Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Mass

The view of Easthampton from Mt. Tom, between 1900 and 1910.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The scene in 2019:

Not much has changed in Easthampton in 100 years, at least nothing that it particularly noticeable from the summit of Mt. Tom. President William McKinley would’ve seen a very similar view during his visit in 1899, but another famous visitor to the mountain, Jonathan Edwards, would’ve seen a very different view in the 1730s.

Long Sands Beach, York, Maine

The view of Long Sands Beach in York, Maine, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Beaches

In 2011:

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The landscape hasn’t changed much – not many of the present-day buildings are readily identifiable in the early 20th century photo, but in either case the style of buildings hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years.  A few buildings that definitely do still exist are the cottages on the bluff on the far right hand side of the old photo.  Although this area is outside the frame of the 2011 photo, other photos of the area show that those buildings are still there.

Post Office & Customs House, Springfield

The northwest corner of Main and Worthington in Springfield, sometime before 1890. Photo from Springfield Present and Prospective (1905).

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The same location, around 1905, after construction of the Post Office and Customs House. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Government

The scene in 2014:

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The first photo shows the Wilcox Block, an old commercial building that likely dated back to the early 19th century. Located on the west side of Main Street between Worthington and Fort Streets, it was demolished in 1889 and replaced with the city’s first purpose-built post office. As seen in the second photo this building was an imposing, castle-like Romanesque structure, built of brownstone quarried from nearby Longmeadow. It housed a post office on the first floor, with customs and other federal offices on the second floor, but within a few decades the building was too small for the growing population of Springfield. In 1932, a new, much larger post office and federal building opened on Dwight Street, and the old building here was demolished the following year. In 1939, it was replaced with the present-day Art Deco building, which was originally home to the Enterprise department store.

Today, there are still several buildings standing from the earlier photos, though. The Homestead Building, completed in 1903, was once used as the offices for the Springfield Homestead newspaper, and it is visible on the left side of the 1905 and 2014 photos. On the far right side, the only building that appears in all three photos is the Fort Block. Built in 1858, it was heavily altered in the early 1920s, but it is still standing, and is best known today as the longtime home of the Student Prince restaurant.

Railroad Arch, Springfield

Looking north toward the Boston & Albany Railroad arch over Main Street in Springfield, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The railroad arch in 2018:

 

For many years, there was no bridge over Main Street, forcing the busy rail line to cross the busy road at grade.  Finally, in 1890, the stone arch was built, and survives to this day, even when none of the other buildings from the first decade of the 20th century have.  See the 1882 photo in this post for a view of Main Street before the arch was built.