Frederick Newman House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 37 George Street, at the corner of Dexter Street, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2016:

This house was designed by its own resident, Frederick Newman, a prominent local architect who had designed a number of important commercial buildings in downtown Springfield, including the Chicopee Bank Building and the Court Square Building. The house was completed in 1896, and in the 1900 census he was living here with his wife Caroline, along with his niece and two servants. However, the Newmans only remained here until 1903, when they moved to New Hampshire. By 1910, the house was owned by Joseph Shattuck, Jr., a banker who worked as the treasurer of the Springfield Institute for Savings. He was 39 at the time, and lived here with his wife Fannie, their four daughters, and three servants.

Yet another wealthy family owned the house in 1920, when Frank Fuller owned the house. He was the general manager and later president of Springfield’s Moore Drop Forging Company, and in 1920 he lived here with his wife Jessie, three young children, and two servants. They were still here in 1930, and still with two servants living with them, although Frank died by the mid-1930s, and the family appears to have left soon after; this would explain the “For Sale” sign in front of the house in the first photo.

Now over 120 years old, the house is still standing, although it has seen better days. It is part of the Maple Hill Local Historic District, but it was damaged in the June 1, 2011 tornado, and is currently uninhabited. Both neglect and vandalism have taken their toll on the historic house, and several years ago it was listed by the Springfield Preservation Trust as one of the city’s most endangered historic resources.

Andrew J. Flanagan House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 29 George Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2016:

This Queen Anne-style house was built around the early 1890s, and was the home of Andrew J. Flanagan, a prominent dentist. Born in Springfield in 1866, Flanagan opened his practice on Main Street in 1889, after having graduated from Philadelphia Dental College. He married his wife, Catherine Watters, around 1896, and the couple lived here for over 20 years. During this time, Andrew became an important figure in dentistry, working as a dental surgeon at Mercy Hospital and serving as the president of the Massachusetts Dental Society. He was also a member of a number of other dental societies, and wrote many articles for dentistry publications. Along with his professsional work, Flanagan was also involved in civic work. He was a member of several different social organizations, served as vice president of the Connecticut Valley Historical Society, and served as a city park commissioner.

Andrew Flanagan died in 1922, and Catherine in 1935. She was still living here by the 1930 census, although she was renting part of the house to another family for $45 per month. By the time the first photo was taken, a different family was living here. Since then, the exterior of the house does not look much different, and still serves as a reminder of then this area was among the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. It is part of the city’s Maple Hill Local Historic District, although like many other historic homes in the district, it appears to have been damaged in the June 1, 2011 tornado. It currently stands vacant, along with the house just to the left of it.

23-25 George Street, Springfield, Mass

The building at 23-25 George Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The building in 2016:

This apartment building was built around the 1880s or 1890s in Springfield’s Maple Hill neighborhood. At the time, the area mainly consisted of large, elegant single-family homes for some of the city’s most prominent residents. This building was an exception, though, and its early 20th century tenants were predominantly blue collar workers. From the 1910 through 1940 censuses, the building appears to have had four apartments, and housed a variety of families. Some were immigrants, including people from Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Turkey. Many worked as skilled laborers in the city’s factories, including some who worked at the Armory.

By the 1940 census, shortly after the first photo was taken, there were four families living here. There were two married couples who lived alone, another couple who lived here with the wife’s brother, and an older widow who lived here with her personal nurse. Three of these families paid $30 in monthly rent, while the fourth paid $65. The four occupations listed, aside from the nurse, were a toolmaker in a radio factory, a machinist in a factory, a president of a life insurance company, and a president of a lumber company.

Nearly 80 years after the first photo was taken, the building now consists of six apartment units. However, the exterior is remarkably unchanged. The front porch is probably not original to the building, although it looks basically the same as it did in the 1930s, aside from the addition of a satellite dish. The house, along with the rest of the east side of George Street, is just outside the boundary of the Ames and Crescent Hill Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, but it is located within the city’s Maple Hill Local Historic District.

Andrew McQuade House, Springfield, Mass

The house at 17 George Street in Springfield, around 1938-1939. Image courtesy of the Springfield Preservation Trust.

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The house in 2016:

This house is probably the oldest on George Street, and dates back to at least 1870, when Andrew McQuade and his family were living here. He and his wife Ellen were both Irish immigrants who came to the United States as teenagers in the early 1850s. They were married in 1860, and by 1870 they were living here with their five children. Andrew’s occupation was listed as a teamster, and in the 1870 census his house was valued at $5000.

The house remained in the McQuade family for many years afterward. Andrew was still living here as late as 1910, when his occupation was listed as “Truckman,” reflecting the changing role of teamsters with the development of trucks. He died sometime before 1920, but Ellen remained here until at least 1930, by which point she was 88 years old. The most recent published census is 1940, which was done just a year or two after the first photo was taken. By then, Andrew and Ellen’s daughter Mary was living here, along with a lodger who was renting a room. She also rented another section of the house to a couple who paid $30 per month in rent.

In all, this house remained in the McQuade family for no less than 70 years, and was a single-family home for most of that time. However, it now consists of two separate housing units, and the exterior of the house has seen some changes. The most notable difference is that old porch is gone, replaced by two smaller ones. Along with this, there are several missing or altered windows, and the front gable now has an open pediment. Otherwise, though, the house still looks much the same as it was when the McQuade family moved in around 150 years ago.