Church of the Unity, Springfield Mass

The Church of the Unity, photographed in 1959. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey collection.

216_1959-loc

The same view in 2014:

216_2014

The Church of the Unity is also featured in this post, although the photo in that one is close to 100 years older than this “before” one is.  As mentioned there, this church was significant as the first commission of architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and was built between 1866 and 1869.  However, it was demolished only two years after this photo was taken, and was replaced with a parking lot for the Springfield Public Library.

Church of the Unity, Springfield, Mass

The Church of the Unity in Springfield, sometime in the 1870s or 1880s. Photo courtesy of New York Public Library.

082_1870s-1880s-2Bnypl

The site in 2019:

The Church of the Unity was a building of architectural significance – it was the first commission of noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and was built between 1866 and 1869.  However, it was demolished in 1961 to make way for an apartment building that was ultimately never constructed, and today the site is a parking lot for the main branch of the Springfield Public Library.

 

Albany City Hall, Albany, NY

City Hall in Albany, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Albany

City Hall in 2009:

043_2009

Albany’s current City Hall was built in 1883 to replace an earlier building that burned in a fire.  It was designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and not much has changed about its appearance in the past 100 years, other than the addition of the clock face on the tower.

Hampden County Courthouse, Springfield

The Hampden County Courthouse, as seen around 1908 from in front of Old First Church. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

010_1908c-2Bloc

The same building, sometime around 1910-1920. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

010_1910-1920-2Bloc

The building in 2015:

010_2015

This historic courthouse building was designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in 1874.  However, the three photos show some striking changes to its appearance.  Although the first and second photos were only taken a few years apart, they illustrate the changes that were made very shortly after the 1908 photo was taken.  The building was renovated and expanded, and part of the remodeling included removing the top floor and its distinct dormers.  The result is a much more toned-down version of Richardson’s original design.  Today, the building’s appearance is very similar to what it looked like a century ago, although it now serves as the courthouse for the Hampden County Housing and Juvenile courts; the new county courthouse is barely visible behind and to the right of the 1874 building.

Court Square, Springfield (4)

Taken from the same spot as the previous photo, this 1909 photo shows the old Hampden County Courthouse, the Springfield Institute for Savings building, located where the present courthouse is today. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Panoramic Photographs Collection.

008_1909-2Bloc

Compare it with this 2012 photo, taken from approximately the same location:

008_2012

The old 1874 courthouse (now the juvenile and housing court) survives largely intact, although the third floor with its Gothic dormers has since been removed, and the Hall of Records in the center of the 1909 photo has been demolished.  The Springfield Institute for Savings building, on the right-hand side of the photo, has also been demolished, and Elm Street has been truncated, in order to build the modern Hampden County Hall of Justice.  One other interesting addition is the statue in the 2012 photo; it is a statue honoring William McKinley, and at the time of the 1909 photo it was residing in Forest Park across the city.  I do not know when it was moved to its present location.