Chapin House, Agawam, Mass

The Chapin House on Elm Street in Agawam, around 1895-1896. Image courtesy of the Agawam Historical Association.

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The house in 2015:

This house on Elm Street was built around 1850, and is an excellent example of the Carpenter Gothic style of architecture that was popular in rural and suburban American houses in the mid to late 1800s.  The only noticeable change from the first photo is the porch, which once wrapped around from the right side to the front door.  I’m not sure whether this porch was original to the house anyway, and in either case this house is well-preserved and is a contributing property in the Agawam Center Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

City Hall, Holyoke Mass

City Hall in Holyoke, seen looking up Dwight Street in 1892. Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

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City Hall in 2015:


It almost resembles a Medieval cathedral, and in fact the original caption of the 1892 photo misidentified it as a church, but this building is actually Holyoke City Hall.  Opened in 1876, it bears some resemblance to the Hampden County Courthouse.  Both were made out of the same material, granite from Monson, Massachusetts, and with similar neo-Gothic and Romanesque style architecture, which was common in late 19th century public buildings.  Curiously, it had two architects: Charles B. Atwood, who designed most of the exterior, and Henry F. Kilburn, who took over after Atwood failed to produce his work in a timely manner.  Kilburn ended up designing the interior and the 220 foot tower.  Today, the exterior is well-preserved; it continues to be used as City Hall, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.