Hotel Brooks, Brattleboro, Vermont

Main Street in Brattleboro, looking south toward High Street around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

346_1905c-2Bloc

The scene in 2014:

346_2014

These photos were taken facing the opposite direction of the ones in this post, and faces the historic Hotel Brooks on the right-hand side of the photos.  Built in 1871, it was once a popular hotel and summer resort, but has since been extensively renovated.  The outward appearance looks the same, but the interior was drastically changed in the 1970s, and the upper floors were damaged by a fire in 2011.  Currently, the building is undergoing repairs, as can be seen with the boarded-up storefronts.

Hampshire County Courthouse, Northampton

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

054_1904c-2Bloc

The same building in 2014:

054_2014

The Hampshire County Courthouse hasn’t changed much since 1904, nor has it changed much since it was completed in 1886.  It bears strong resemblance to the Hampden County Courthouse that was built about 12 years earlier, and unlike that building, this one retains its top floor and its dormers adjacent to the tower.  Around the time that the earlier photo was taken, the Clerk of Courts was a local attorney and former City Council member named Calvin Coolidge, who would eventually go on to work a much more notable job in a much larger and more prominent building.   One difference between 1904 and now, although not visible in the photo, is a statue of said former Clerk of Courts, now on the grounds of the courthouse.

First Church of Northampton

The First Church of Northampton, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

053_1900-1910-2Bloc

In 2014:

053_2014

Built in 1877, Northampton’s First Church hasn’t changed much, although its surroundings are different than they were a century ago.  Notice in particular the absence of trolley tracks or wires and the proliferation of cars.  Nearly three centuries and three church buildings ago, this was the home to one of America’s most prominent theologians, Jonathan Edwards, who was pastor of the Northampton church from 1727 to 1751, and who led the Great Awakening from his pulpit here.  The church building that he built in 1737 was replaced in 1812 by one designed by Isaac Damon, the same architect who designed Springfield’s Old First Church seven years later.  That building burned in 1876, and was replaced by the present structure the following year.

Hotel Worthy, Springfield

The Hotel Worthy, at the corner of Main and Worthington in Springfield, around 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Hotels

The building in 2017:

 

Unlike many of the other views of downtown Springfield from the turn of the last century, almost nothing has changed in this scene.  Taken from the corner of Main and Worthington, with Worthington to the left and Main to the right, most of the buildings in this photo have survived.  The only exception is the building to the immediate right of the Hotel Worthy, which is now a public square.  The historic hotel itself is now an apartment building, and the buildings beyond it to the left down Worthington Street now house a variety of bars and restaurants.  One of these, Smith’s Billiards, has actually been open since before the 1908 photo was taken, and it is supposedly the oldest pool hall in the United States.

United First Parish Church, Quincy

The United First Parish Church of Quincy, as seen in 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Quincy

The same scene, in March of 2013:

023_2013

This church in Quincy was built in 1828, financed largely though former president John Adams. He and his wife, along with John Quincy Adams and his wife, are interred in the family crypt under the church – it is one of only two churches in the US that contains a presidential tomb. As seen in the two photos, not much has changed in the past 109 years with the building itself.

New Old South Church, Boston

New Old South Church at Copley Square, between 1890 and 1899. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

022_1890-1899-2Bloc

The same view in 2010:

022_2010

For the most part, this view hasn’t changed.  The Boston Public Library on the left is still there, as is the brick building behind the church.  The only real difference is the tower, which had to be taken down in 1931.  Like the rest of the Back Bay, the church sits on filled-in marshland, so the weight was supported by wooden piles that were driven into the soil.  However, the tower was too heavy for the piles, and as the ground settled it began to lean about three feet.  It was rebuilt in 1940 on stronger steel piles, and the new tower has stood substantially longer than the original one did.