Main & Court Streets, Springfield, Mass

Looking north on Main Street in Springfield, toward Court Street, around 1882. Photo from Springfield Illustrated (1882).


Main Street in 2014:


This scene is similar to the view in this post, except this one shows the view further down Main Street.  The building in the foreground is the home of the Springfield Five Cents Savings Bank, which is still there today, although its Main Street facade has been completely replaced.  However, the arches over the windows on the Court Street side clearly show that it is the same building.  Further down Main Street in the 1882 photo is the home office of the Springfield Republican, and beyond that is the Mass Mutual Building.

The commercial block furthest from the camera is the Union Block, which is seen in this post from the other side.  Two thirds of this building still exists today, although it is hard to see it in the shadows of the 2014 photo.  Finally, the steeple of the First Baptist Church, which can be seen more clearly in this post.  The church was built in 1847 and demolished in 1888, and today its former location is now Harrison Avenue where it intersects with Main Street.

State Street, Springfield, Mass

State Street in Springfield, looking toward St. Michael’s Cathedral around 1882. Photo from Springfield Illustrated (1882).


State Street in 2014:


This view is similar to the scene in this post, but here we see a little more along the north side of State Street.  Several buildings are still there, including the 1860s St. Michael’s Cathedral and the rectory next to it.  Further up State Street in the 1882 scene, the Alexander House is visible in the distance.  This historic house was moved in 2003 to make way for the construction of the new federal courthouse, although it is still visible in the 2014 photo, in the distance between the church and the rectory.

North Congregational Church, Springfield, Mass

North Congregational Church, seen from Mattoon Street in Springfield around 1882. Photo from Springfield Illustrated (1882).


The church in 2014:


North Congregational Church wasn’t too old when the first photo was taken – it was completed in 1873, and was one of the first buildings designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson.  It’s only a few block away from where his first building, the Church of the Unity, once stood.  Richardson also designed other buildings in Springfield, including the old Union Station on Lyman Street.  Today, aside from North Congregational, the only other surviving Richardson building in the city is the old Hampden County Courthouse.  However, the courthouse has been significantly altered, so North Congregational is his only surviving work in the city that remains relatively intact.

Over the years, the church building changed hands several times, and today it is located at one end of Mattoon Street, which is known for its elegant Victorian row houses on both sides of the street; walking down the street feels more like Beacon Hill than Springfield, and the entire street and the church today are part of the Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Calvin Coolidge and Allen Treadway at Plymouth, Vermont

Congressman Allen T. Treadway presenting two rakes to President Calvin Coolidge at the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, Vermont on August 19, 1924.  Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


The scene in 2014:


I’m not quite sure what’s going on in this first scene.  I understand that Congressman Allen Treadway is giving two hand-carved rakes to President Coolidge, but I’m not entirely sure why.  Film of this ceremony can be seen at the beginning of this video.

Congressman Treadway represented the First Massachusetts District from 1913 until 1945, and before that he was the President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1909-1911, three years before Coolidge himself would hold the same position.  They never actually served together in the Senate; Treadway left just before Coolidge started, but like Coolidge he was a Republican from Massachusetts and fellow graduate of Amherst College.

Coolidge Family at Plymouth, Vermont (2)

Calvin, Grace, and John Coolidge at the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, Vermont, probably in August, 1924. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


The scene in 2014:


In the 1924 scene, President Calvin Coolidge and First Lady Grace Coolidge are walking toward their car, with their son John walking behind them.  It’s the same car as the one in this post, but it doesn’t appear to be taken at the same time as that one, since all of them are wearing different clothing.  I don’t know where they are heading, but probably not anywhere too formal, given that John is wearing overalls.  Today, the scene hasn’t changed much, although sadly there are no antique cars parked in front of the house anymore.

Coolidge Family at Plymouth, Vermont (1)

Grace, John, and Calvin Coolidge at the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, Vermont, probably in August, 1924. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.


The scene in 2014:


The 1924 photo in this post was probably taken at about the same time as this one, when John Coolidge (center) was stacking kindling at his grandfather’s farm in Plymouth, Vermont.  Standing on either side of him are his parents, Calvin and Grace Coolidge.  Today, the barn doesn’t look much different, aside from the ramp leading up to the door.