North Main Street, Springfield, Mass

Main Street in Springfield, looking toward the North End near Congress Street, around 1882. Photo from Springfield Illustrated (1882).


The scene in 2023:

The only readily identifiable building in the first photo is on the right side of Main Street, the Hooker School, which was a grammar school that opened in 1865.  In the 1884 King’s Handbook of Springfield, it is described as “the finest of the grammar-school buildings in external appearance,. for which it is indebted to its imposing tower (containing a clock with illuminated dial), as well as to the beautiful network of vines which in summer relieve the bareness of its brick walls.”

The building continued to be used as a grammar school until 1918, and it subsequently became the Continuation School, and then as the girls’ division of the Trade School. It finally closed in 1940, and it was demolished in 1944. Then, about 20 years later most of the surrounding area was demolished as part of an urban renewal plan, which included constructing a large interchange between Interstates 91 and 291, as shown in the second photo.

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