The Post Master and His Corps, Springfield, Mass

A group of postal employees on the front steps of Springfield’s Central High School (later Classical High School) around 1910. Photo from View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The building in 2014:

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All that I know about the first photo is that it was taken on the front steps of the former high school, which can be seen in this post, and that it was titled “The Post Master and His Corps” in the View Book of Springfield.  I’m assuming that means that all of these men are Springfield’s postal employees from a century ago, but the location of the photo puzzles me.  It would seem to make more sense to have a group photo of postal workers at, say, the Post Office, but in any case the front entrance where they did pose is still there, mostly unchanged, although the building itself is no longer a school.  The school closed in 1986, and today it is a condominium building.

Springfield High School, Springfield

Springfield’s old high school, located on State Street, sometime in the 1870s or 1880s. Photo courtesy of New York Public Library.

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The scene in 2012:

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Built in 1874, the building in the top photo was once Springfield’s high school building. It was used as the high school until 1898, when the older part (left-hand side) of Classical High School was completed.  After that, the building was used as a grammar school until 1922, when it was demolished to allow for the expansion of Classical High School.  It was used as a high school until 1986, and has since been converted into condominiums.

Classical High School, Springfield

Classical High School in Springfield, around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same building today:

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Originally built as Central High School in 1898, it became Classical High School in the 1930’s, and closed in 1986 when the present Central High School was built on Roosevelt Ave. It has since been converted into condominiums, and is remarkably well-preserved from its days as a school.  The building was built on the site of the former Hampden County Jail, which had been in this location from 1814 until 1887.

Visible on the far right of the 1905 photo is the old Springfield High School, which was built in 1874.  After the construction of this building, the old high school was used as State Street Grammar School until 1922, when Central/Classical High School was expanded to include a junior high school wing, which necessitated the demolition of the old structure.

Probably the school’s most famous alumnus was 1921 graduate Theodor Geisel, who was better known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss.  In addition, on a personal note, my grandfather was a 1937 graduate from the school, shortly after it became Classical High.