First Church Parsonages, Longmeadow, Mass

Looking south along the Town Green from Williams Street in Longmeadow, around 1902-1921. Image courtesy of the Longmeadow Historical Society, Emerson Collection.

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The view in 2016:

The first photo shows two of the houses that have been used as the parsonage for Longmeadow’s First Church of Christ, which is located just out of view to the right of the photos. The building in the distance just to the left of center is the Cordis House, which was built in 1832 for Jonathan Condit, the pastor of the church. He briefly lived here, as did the next pastor, Hubbard Beebe, but in 1845 it was sold to Thomas Cordis, whose descendants continue to own the house.

The house on the right side of the first photo was built only 25 years later, but it shows a shift in architectural style from the fairly plain Green Revival design of the Cordis House to the far more decorative Italianate style that became popular in the mid 19th century. This parsonage was built in 1857, and was first occupied by John Wheeler Harding, who served as pastor from 1850 until 1891. Several other pastors lived here before it was moved in 1921 to build the Community House. The old parsonage is now located just to the south of the church, where it has been used as a church school, the residence of the church caretaker, and currently as a Montessori school.

1007-1017 Main Street, Springfield, Mass

The building at the corner of Main and Union Streets in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The scene in 2015:

The section of Main Street south of State Street was once primarily residential, but as the city grew in the second half of the 19th century many of the homes were either demolished or, in many cases, had storefronts built in front of them. Based on its blend of Greek Revival and Italianate architectural styles, this house was probably built around the 1850s, but sometime around 1900-1910 the owners built a one-story commercial building around it, presumably incorporating the first floor of the house into the stores. This is similar to what happened to the John Avery House, a c.1825 house located diagonally across the street from here.

When the first photo was taken, the building had several commercial tenants, including The Linoleum Shoppe on the left and a cigar store on the right. The old house was still clearly visible at the time, but later taken down after a fire. The rest of the building was damaged in the June 1, 2011 tornado, and was subsequently renovated into its current appearance, as seen in the 2015 photo.

Breezy Corners, Lenox, Mass

Looking north on Cliffwood Street toward Greenwood Street in Lenox, with the Breezy Corners house on the right, around 1905-1915. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The street in 2015:

As mentioned in previous posts, Lenox was a popular summer resort in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the house on the right side of the road was one of many summer “cottages” in the area. It was built around 1860, and in 1882 it was sold to Emily Meigs Biddle, a member of the prominent Biddle family in Philadelphia. She and her three adult children spent many summers here, and after Emily’s death in 1905, her youngest daughter, Emily Williams Biddle, inherited the property and kept it until she died in 1931. Over the nearly 50 years that the Biddle family owned the house, they made a number of additions to the original structure, including a third floor, a tower, and a larger servant area. Only part of the house is visible from this angle, but there are not many differences in these two views. There have not been any dramatic changes since the first photo was taken, and the historic home is still standing at the corner of Cliffwood and Greenwood Street.