Corner of Dwight and Sanford Streets, Springfield

The building that once stood at the corner of Dwight and Sanford Streets. Photo from Springfield Present and Prospective (1905).

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The location in 2014:

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As seen in today’s photo, the buildings in the first photo don’t exist anymore, and in fact neither does the street on the right, Sanford Street. The first photo shows two different 17th century houses: the old Nathaniel Ely Tavern in the foreground, built in 1660, and the Margaret Bliss House just beyond it, built around 1695. Obviously both buildings are long gone. I don’t know when they were demolished, but it is safe to say they were gone before the MassMutual Center was built in the 1970’s.

Corner of State & Dwight, Springfield

The view looking northwest from the corner of State Street and Dwight Street, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same street corner in 2015:

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There is absolutely nothing in the first photo that still exists today, so identification of its location eluded me for a while, until I zoomed in to a high-resolution scan of the photo and noticed the “Dwight Street” sign.  The building in the first photo was, at the time, the YMCA building in Springfield.  According to the date on the building, it was constructed in 1894.  So far, I have been unable to find information about when it was demolished, but it was certainly no later than 1972, when the MassMutual Center (at the time the Civic Center) was built.  The building is now the home of the Springfield Falcons (hockey) and the Springfield Armor (basketball), and was the home of the NFL’s Hartford Whalers for several seasons after the roof of the Hartford Civic Center collapsed in 1978.  Incidentally, notice the fire hydrant to the far right of both photos.  The hydrant itself isn’t the same, but they are probably in the same location, which makes it possibly the only fixed landmark in both photos.