Homestead Building, Springfield Mass

The Homestead Building, at 82-86 Worthington Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Photo courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust

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The building in 2014:


According to the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, this building on Worthington Street was built in 1903, although its architectural style makes it look more like something built in the 1880s, like a scaled-down version of the Chicopee Bank Building.  The building was the home of Phelps Publishing Company, which produced the Springfield Homestead newspaper as well as several other weekly publications.  In 1932, the building was sold to Blue Line Transportation Company, as seen in the first photo.  From here, passengers could take buses to cities around New England and beyond; the Worthington Street side lists Hartford, New York, and Boston as destinations.  Most recently, the building was used as a nightclub, which closed in 2014 following a shooting outside the building.

There’s another building that appears in both photos, although it isn’t as obvious.  The tall, “L” shaped building that seems to loom over the Homestead Building was built in 190, and in the first photo it was home to the Springfield Photo Engraving Company.  The building is still there today, although in 1949 it was trimmed down to three floors and now blends in with the Homestead Building.

95-99 Elliot Street, Springfield, Mass

The building at 95-99 Elliot Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Photo courtesy of Springfield Preservation Trust.


The building in 2014:


Known as the Edward B. Barton House, this duplex at the corner of Elliot and Salem Streets was built in 1887.  It was originally home to Edward B. Barton, a traveling shoe salesman, and William H. Wright, the owner of Massasoit Cigar Manufactory and Store.  Today, aside from a few minor changes with the porches, the house doesn’t look all that different from its appearance in the late 1930s.  Like other historic properties on Elliot Street, it is located within the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District.

85-87 Elliot Street, Springfield, Mass

The building at 85-87 Elliot Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Photo courtesy of Springfield Preservation Trust.


The building in 2014:


This apartment building on Elliot Street, opposite Edwards Street, was built in 1907.  During this time, many of the single and two-family buildings that once lined many of the streets in the downtown area were being replaced by larger apartment buildings, as the downtown grew and demand for housing increased.  The building was built by Gagnier & Angers, two French Canadians who built many of the apartment buildings in this part of the city in the early 1900s.  Presumably, not much changed in the buildings exterior appearance between its construction and the first photo in the late 1930s, and not much changed in the ensuing 75 years.  All of the buildings from the 1930s photo are still there, including this apartment building, the wood duplex to the left, and the brick apartment building behind it.  Together, they make up part of the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District, part of the National Register of Historic Places.

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.


The building in 2014:


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.

51-55 State Street, Springfield, Mass

The building at 51-55 State Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Photo courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.


The scene in 2014:


I don’t know much about the apartment building in the first photo, except that it was built sometime between 1882 and 1899, and was demolished by 1958, when the present 55 State Street building was built.  It is directly across State Street from the Hampden County Hall of Justice, and it reflects the hideous architectural styles of the mid-20th century.  Sadly, this building will not be among those demolished to make way for the casino, although the buildings in the distance to the left will be.

104-108 State Street, Springfield, Mass

The buildings at 104-108 State Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Photo courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.


The scene in 2014:


These photos were taken facing just to the right of the ones in this post, and the 1930s photo shows the building once occupied by The Hub Restaurant.  As mentioned in the other post, this building was probably taken down around the same time as the Court Square Theater to make room for the present-day parking lot, although the building to the right of it still survives; this is the Shean Block, which was built in 1927 at the corner of Main and State Streets.

Notice the “No Parking” sign in the foreground – I’m not quite sure why parking was restricted from 4:45 to 5:45; perhaps this was to accommodate rush hour traffic?  At the time, State Street was part of Route 20, so this section of road was probably pretty busy in the pre-interstate days.  There is also a clue as to the date of this photo – a sign in the second floor window reads “Springfield Free Press,” which was published starting in September 1939.  If the estimated date range of 1938-1939 is accurate, then the photo was most likely taken in the fall of 1939.