Calvin & Grace Coolidge at home in Northampton

Calvin & Grace Coolidge in March 1929, after returning home from Washington DC. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

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The view in 2014:

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After serving as president from 1923 to 1929, Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace returned to their home at 21 Massasoit Street in Northampton Mass.  They lived here in the left-hand side of the duplex from 1906 until 1930, and the first photo above shows them after they returned home from Washington DC, following the conclusion of Coolidge’s second term as president.  In 1930, they moved into a much larger and more secluded house, The Beeches, located at 16 Hampton Terrace, where Calvin Coolidge died in 1933.

Draper Hotel, Northampton Mass

The Draper Hotel in Northampton, around 1907. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The building in 2014:

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This building was built in 1871, on the site of the earlier Warner House hotel, which had burned the year before. The new building was originally known as the Fitch House, hence the “F” at the top of the building just below the pediment, but by the time the first photo was taken it had become the Draper Hotel. Today, only the westernmost third of the building remains; the hotel closed in 1955, and the two sections on the right side were demolished and replaced with the present-day one-story building.

Hampshire County Courthouse, Northampton Mass (2)

Hampshire County Courthouse in Northampton, around 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The building in 2014:

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Taken around the same time as this photo of the building, this view shows the courthouse from a different angle, looking at it from the southwest corner of Main and Pleasant Streets (today Routes 9 and 5/10). Incidentally, it is entirely possible that the small tree barely visible behind the men standing along the fence in the 1904 photo is the same one that is now partially obscuring the view of the building in the 2014 photo.

Forbes Library, Northampton Mass

Northampton’s Forbes Library, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Libraries

The library in 2014:

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Built in 1894, the Forbes Library is one of two public libraries in Northampton, and it is also home to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum. Not much has changed in its exterior appearance since Calvin Coolidge visited here while studying law in the late 1890s.

Old Northampton High School, Northampton Mass

The old Northampton High School building, at the corner of Main and New South Streets, between 1900 and 1906. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The building in 2014:

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This building served as Northampton’s high school from 1895 until 1940, and while it looks the same in both photos, it was gutted in a 1914 fire, leaving only the exterior walls.  The interior was rebuilt, and today it is the D.A. Sullivan School.

Main Street, Northampton Mass (2)

The view looking west from the corner of Main & King Streets in Northampton, around 1907. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The view in 2018:

Taken around the same time as this photo, from the opposite end of Main Street, not a whole lot has changed with the buildings.  However, just about everything else has – the busy intersection no longer has trolley tracks, but has plenty of cars, along with pedestrians and protesters outside the courthouse (left).  As previously mentioned, these photos were taken around the time that Calvin Coolidge was beginning his political career; he would’ve seen this view daily as he walked the half a block from his law office to the courthouse.