Wednesday, May 29, 2013

70 Thompson Street, Springfield, MA

70 Thompson St. Springfield, MA. 1870s?


This house which stands at the corner of Thompson Street and Bay Street is in need of rehabilitation. I think it is a particularly lovely example that could be quite the eye catcher if restored well. Given that the surrounding restored homes are so lovely, I think this has a good chance of surviving. The house follows the side-hall plan with a hipped roof. The porch is quite lovely with its flat topped trefoil arches. The cornice is simple, as we have come to expect with Springfield, with paired brackets and large dentils (this city loves its dentils!). Greek Revival elements remain in this house; the sidelight and transom door is a Greek Revival/Federal form as are the shallow pediments atop the window surrounds. What impressed me about this house was the side facing Bay Street, a major thoroughfare. On a projecting bay, a two story box window breaks the simplicity of the design by jutting through the cornice with a curving roof that is topped with a rounded pediment. This type of dramatic play with architectural members, particularly that the pediment has long horizontal moldings on the sides, tells me this might be a house from the 1870s. Also noteworthy is the side porch which is recessed into the fa├žade, which livens up the view from the main street. This house seems to have companions on Thompson Street.


At 52 Thompson is this house with an identical neighbor. The Greek revival window surrounds seem to be very similar (though they are eared), although the round arch porch might tell us that it is a bit older. This cornice features several small brackets rather than long pairs. Springfield seems to be a city of conservativism in design as exemplified in the houses I have posted.

One more thing, I just had to post this house on Thompson Street, although it is a Second Empire. It's just one of the coolest examples of the small mansarded cottage I have seen.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for your very informative blog posts, Josh. I've just bought a simple Italianate style clapboard house in Maine, and I'm researching the architectural elements. It was interesting to learn that it is a side hall plan. I'm wondering about the window details and wondering if I could send you a photo? ~ Alicia

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    1. Of course, Alicia. Thanks for looking at my blog!

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  2. 70 Thompson St. is a marvelous example. I hope someone has taken care of it since this post was made. The survival of the front porch is a seeming miracle, and the recessed side porch is a brilliant idea. I really think that we can learn a lot in massing and planning today's buildings by studying the past.

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    1. I certainly agree. These houses are planned for airflow, heat retention, and circulation without using artificial means. I'll be posting more regularly, now I've gotten some work things settled, so I hope you keep reading.

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