The car house of the Springfield Street Railway, seen from the corner of Main and Bond Streets in Springfield probably in 1892. Image from Picturesque Hampden (1892).
The scene in 2023:
As explained in more detail in the previous post, these two photos show one of the trolley barns that was used by the Springfield Street Railway. The top photo was probably taken right around the same time as the one in the previous post, since both photos show the same shadows in the same positions on the front of the building.
The top photo was taken shortly after the Springfield Street Railway system was electrified in the early 1890s. Prior to this time, the cars rode on rails in the streets but were pulled by horses. The switch to electric trolleys meant that the railway no longer had the expense of keeping several hundred horses, but instead the company needed facilities to store, maintain, and repair trolleys.
The building in the top photo was built sometime around the late 1880s or early 1890s, and it stood on the east side of Main Street between Carew and Bond Streets. The railway also had facilities around the corner on Bond Street and a little to the north of here on Hooker Street, both of which had much larger storage capacities than this one here on Main Street. However, during the mid-1890s this was the only one with pits beneath the tracks, meaning that every car in the system had to be rotated through here on a nightly basis for inspections.
Over time, the railway added new trolley barns, including one on the north side of Carew Street in 1897, along with a new one at Hooker Street in 1916. The old building here on the south side of Carew Street appears to have remained in use into the 20th century, but by the 1930s the trolley lines were steadily being replaced by buses, with the last trolley service ending in 1940.
The 1897 trolley barn on the north side of Carew Street is still standing, and the corner of the building is visible on the far left side of the second photo. However, the earlier trolley barn that is shown in the first photo is long gone. After the demise of the trolleys it was converted into commercial and retail use, and it stood here until December 1971, when it was destroyed by a fire. Its former location is now a gas station, as shown in the second photo.