Stockbridge Street, Springfield Mass

Looking east on Stockbridge Street toward Main Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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Stockbridge Street in 2015:

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Like many other places in downtown Springfield, Stockbridge Street was once lined with three story brick commercial blocks, much like the ones seen in the 1930s view of the street.  This style appeared throughout the downtown area in the first half of the 19th century, when Springfield began growing into a major commercial and industrial center.  Early views of Court Square, Main Street, and other areas in downtown all feature plenty of examples of these buildings, but today only a few are left.  In the immediate downtown area, the last two are the Byers Block on Court Square, and the Guenther & Handel’s Block in this scene.

The Guenther & Handel’s Block was built in 1845, and as the 1930s photo shows, it was part of a row of similar buildings.  For many years, the ground floor was a grocery store and delicatessen, and in 1913 was sold to Emil Guenther and Richard Handel, who ran a grocery store under their names.  By the time the first photo was taken, both men had died, but the business was run by the family until 1972.  Today, all of the other mid-19th century buildings on the street are gone, and Guenther & Handel’s Block is wedged between an ornate early 20th century apartment building and a drab, nondescript late 20th century commercial building.

7 thoughts on “Stockbridge Street, Springfield Mass”

  1. I have not found much on the store by the name of Guenther and Handel. It was a German delicatessen, where one could buy mainly German foods, cheeses and meats. The upstairs kitchen made prepared foods to sell downstairs- German potato salad, pasta salads and more. There was a woman, Annie, who made doughnuts and crullers fresh every day. I should know- my grandmother headed the kitchen for many years after emigrating from Germany, and I spent a great deal of my childhood there.

    Reply
    • Oh! The deli certainly had the most delicious foods but especially their potato salad!
      For many years most of our family celebrations were topped off with a spread from their Deli. We will be celebration our 60th wedding anniversary soon and I would give anything to be able to make some or have some made. would you have the recipe???
      That would be the BIGGEST gift we could dream of. God bless you and your family.

      Reply
    • Do you happen To have the recipe for their German potato salad? It was the best I’ve ever had and I’ve never tasted a German potato salad like that one since

      Reply
        • Hi Nicholas…. I can’t believe I came across this post. My wife worked across the street from the deli and we would often eat there…and ALWAYS have the potato salad. The best German potato salad I ever had. By chance… are you willing to share this recipe??

          Paul

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        • Hi Nicholas,
          I am Richard Handel’s great-granddaughter. His son, Harry was my grandfather and I have fond memories of him bringing me to his deli when I was a child. I was always given a lollipop on my way out. I do remember the women upstairs laughing and chatting away as they stuffed sausages or whatever they were doing. I’m afraid I only had eyes for the imported cookies and black licorice, and as a child, never appreciated the smelly German cheeses and cold cuts we always had in our fridge. Now that I am all grown up with children and grandchildren, I would love to share some of the salad recipes with them. Would you please share them with me? It’s so special to be connected to those who came before us.

          Reply

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