State Street, Springfield, Mass

State Street in Springfield, around 1910-1913. Photo from Progressive Springfield, Massachusetts (1913).

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State Street in 2014:

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It will be interesting to do another “now” photo in a couple years, because this scene will be changing soon.  Taken looking east on State Street from in front of the Hampden County Hall of Justice, this scene shows several buildings that will be demolished or substantially altered when the casino is built.  The building on the right-hand side of the 2014 photo is the United Electric Company building, which had just been built shortly before the first photo was taken, and will be (mostly) demolished in the near future, with the casino retaining only the facade.  A few other buildings along State Street will also either be demolished or have just he facade saved.

Other buildings in the photos include the Court Square Hotel, which extends across the block from Elm Street to State Street, and the Nayasset Club building, on the far right of the first photo.  The Nayasset Club was a social organization that at the time included many of Springfield’s prominent citizens.  The building is now gone, and in its place is a parking lot across from the old Hampden County Courthouse, which is barely visible on the left-hand side of the 2014 photo.

State Armory, Springfield, Mass

The Armory on Howard Street in Springfield, around 1910. Photo from View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The building in 2014:

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The State Armory in Springfield (not to be confused with the much larger, more prominent federal Springfield Armory) was built in 1895 for the Massachusetts Militia, and later the Massachusetts National Guard.  The building included both the castle-like structure facing Howard Street, as well as a massive drill shed that extended the width of the block to Union Street.  After the National Guard left, it became the South End Community Center, but it sustained significant damage from the June 1, 2011 tornado, which completely destroyed the former drill shed.  Like the former YWCA Building, the old Armory is right in the middle of the planned casino development, and the current plan is to demolish all but the facade, which will be incorporated into the casino.

YWCA Building, Springfield, Mass

The YWCA building on Howard Street in Springfield, around 1910. Photo from View Book of Springfield (1910).

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The building in 2014:

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The building’s appearance hasn’t changed much over the past century, but its use has.  It was built in 1907 as a residential building for the YWCA, after the organization moved from its old location a block away on Bliss Street.  It continued to be used by the YWCA until at least the 1980s, but today it is the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center, a minimum security facility for alcohol-related offenders.  However, it probably won’t be for long – Howard Street is right in the middle of the planned casino development, so the days appear to be numbered for the historic building.