F.W. Lathrop House, Springfield, Mass

The F.W. Lathrop House on Sumner Avenue in the Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield, on April 8, 1911. Image courtesy of the Longmeadow Historical Society, Emerson Collection.

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The house in 2016:

This mansion at 188 Sumner Avenue was built in 1899 for real estate dealer Frederick W. Lathrop and his wife Flora. At the time, Forest Park was becoming a fashionable neighborhood, and many large, elegant homes were built along Sumner Avenue and other streets in the area. The photo in this earlier post shows the house on the left side of the tree-lined street in around the same time period. Lathrop died in 1917 and Flora in 1933, and since then the home has gone through a variety of uses, including as a Jewish temple, a Jewish school, an art school, and a bed and breakfast. Today, the house is a well-preserved example of Springfield’s historic mansions, and it is part of the Forest Park Heights Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Corner of Belmont and Sumner Avenues, Springfield, Mass

A commercial building on Belmont Avenue, just north of Sumner Avenue at the “X” in Springfield’s Forest Park neighborhood, photographed on April 8, 1911. Image courtesy of the Longmeadow Historical Society, Emerson Collection.

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The view in 2016:

When the first photo was taken, this section of the Forest Park neighborhood was still in the process of being developed, and the “X”, the six-way intersection of Sumner Avenue, Belmont Avenue, and Dickinson Street, would soon become its focal point. Completed in 1908, this building was among the first commercial buildings in the area, and it was in an ideal location on the north side of Sumner Avenue, wedged between Belmont Avenue and Dickinson Street. In 1911 its tenants included, from left to right, Drown’s Bakery, Chin Sam Laundry, Joseph Novrack First Class Shoe Repairing, and Joseph E. Hartt Meat Market. Over the years, other similar buildings were added around it, and the original facade has been altered, but it is still standing today.