YWCA Building, Springfield, Mass

The YWCA building on Howard Street in Springfield, around 1910. Photo from View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The building in 2014:

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The building’s appearance hasn’t changed much over the past century, but its use has.  It was built in 1907 as a residential building for the YWCA, after the organization moved from its old location a block away on Bliss Street.  It continued to be used by the YWCA until at least the 1980s, but today it is the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center, a minimum security facility for alcohol-related offenders.  However, it probably won’t be for long – Howard Street is right in the middle of the planned casino development, so the days appear to be numbered for the historic building.

Springfield Women’s Club, Springfield, Mass

The Springfield Women’s Club building at the corner of Spring Street and Frost Street, around 1906-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The building in 2014:

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The first photo was taken around the time that the Springfield Women’s Club building opened on Frost Street.  A few changes have been made to the building over the years, including the addition of five windows on the Spring Street side of the building and a set of double doors beneath them.  Today, though, the overgrown weeds around the building contrast with the stately trees surrounding it in the first photo.  Both the building and the neighborhood have obviously seen better days, although I don’t know the current status of the structure.

Old Masonic Building, Springfield, Mass

The old Masonic Building in Springfield, around 1910, from The View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The same building in 2012:

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The old Masonic Building at the corner of State and Main was built around 1893, and was used by the Masons until 1924, when they built a new temple further up State Street. At some point, the ornate sandstone facade was replaced with a more bland brick appearance, and the clock tower was either moved back or replaced entirely. However, there is a small surviving part of the original facade – the sandstone arch above the doorway on the left-hand side is still there, complete with a Masonic symbol above it.

Corner of State & Dwight, Springfield

The view looking northwest from the corner of State Street and Dwight Street, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same street corner in 2015:

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There is absolutely nothing in the first photo that still exists today, so identification of its location eluded me for a while, until I zoomed in to a high-resolution scan of the photo and noticed the “Dwight Street” sign. The building in the first photo was, at the time, the YMCA building in Springfield. It was completed in 1895, and was the home of the YMCA for 20 years, until it moved into a new building on Chestnut Street. The older building then became the Victoria Hotel, and it stood here until 1969, when the hotel closed. It was demolished later in the year, in order to begin construction on the Civic Center. Now named the MassMutual Center, this arena still stands here at the corner of State and Dwight Streets.