Union Station, Springfield, Mass

Union Station in Springfield, Mass, around 1905. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

145_1905c loc.tif

The scene in 2014:

145_2014

Prior to 1890, trains passing through Springfield on the Boston & Albany Railroad had to cross Main Street at street level; this resulted in significant traffic issues as the city grew, so in 1890 a stone arch was built over Main Street, and an elevated stone viaduct carried the railroad through downtown.  As part of this, the old Union Station was opened in 1889.  Designed by Shelby, Rutan and Coolidge in the style of Henry Hobson Richardson, the station consisted of buildings on both the north and south sides of the tracks (as seen in this photo, taken around the same time).  The 1905 photo shown above shows the south side, looking east along Lyman Street.  This station was demolished in 1925 and replaced with the present-day Union Station.  This station, located on the other side of the tracks, has been closed since 1974, but is in the process of being renovated.  In the meantime, rail travelers today use the Lyman Street entrance to access the modern Amtrak station, which is a far cry from Richardson’s original design.

Smith & Wesson Factory, Springfield, Mass

The Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, Mass., as it appeared around 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

144_1908c loc.tif

The scene in 2014:

144_2014

Originally built in 1860, the Smith & Wesson factory on Stockbridge Street was its corporate headquarters for many years. The company is still headquartered in Springfield, although they have long since moved to their current location on Roosevelt Avenue. In 1972, Dwight Street was extended across much of the land that was once the factory, although I don’t know if the buildings were demolished at that point, or sometime before then.  The building in the background to the right in the 2014 photo was actually around when the first photo was taken; it was at the time the factory for Milton Bradley; it has since, along with several other former industrial buildings in the area, been converted into apartments. At least one of the former Smith & Wesson buildings still exists, just to the right and outside the frame of the 2014 photo, although it wasn’t built until after the 1908 photo was taken. It is also part of the apartment complex.

Manhattan Skyline from Brooklyn

The view from Brooklyn looking toward Manhattan, around 1900. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

127_1900c loc

The view, at night, in 2013:

127_2013

The skyline of Lower Manhattan has changed substantially in the past century, as seen in the previous photos I have posted on here. I don’t have any daytime photos of this view today, but I felt that this night photo sufficiently captured the changes that have happened. As far as I can tell, none of the buildings in the first photo are visible in the 2013 one. Some, including the Park Row Building on the far right of the first photo, still exist, but are hidden behind the modern skyline.

Manhattan Waterfront from Brooklyn Bridge

The view of Lower Manhattan, looking south from the Brooklyn Bridge, around 1901. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

128_1901c loc

The view from the Brooklyn Bridge in 2013:

128_2013

Manhattan’s waterfront is quite different today from 100 years ago. Once a major transportation hub, today the FDR Drive along the waterfront is a major transportation corridor, instead of the East River that it runs parallel to. In the foreground of the first photo are the piers for the New Haven Line, a steamship company that operated ferries between Manhattan and New Haven, with railroad connections to points north. The closest steamship is the SS Robert Peck, which was built in 1892 as the flagship of the line. In 1943, it was transferred to the Navy, and served as floating barracks for part of World War II.

Lower Manhattan (4)

The view of Lower Manhattan from New York Harbor, between 1900 and 1906. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

129_1900-1906 loc

The view in 2012:

129_2012

The first photo shows the Manhattan skyline in the background, with a group of barges passing through to the East River from Albany. Today, the barges are long gone, and the skyline has changed substantially, with low-rise buildings along the waterfront being replaced by modern skyscrapers. Battery Park is still there, though, visible along the left-hand side of the waterfront in both photos. As this photo was taken a few years ago, the new World Trade Center buildings are seen still under construction.

 

Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge

The view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn, around 1900. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

126_1900c loc

The view in 2013:

126_2013

The difference is like night and day.  Cheesy puns aside though, there is quite a difference in the Manhattan skyline between the two photos, over 100 years apart.  The Brooklyn Bridge is still there, but otherwise, as far as I can tell, none of the buildings in the first photo are visible in the second.  At least one of them – the tall Park Row Building at the far left of the first photo – still exists today, but I don’t think it can be seen from here.