348 Hancock St. (or "don't trust the city records")

Springfield's GIS system is available online; it is a great way to find out information about various buildings in the city. However, I have come to find that the dates in the system are not always accurate.

I purchased this picture on eBay a couple of months ago, the photographer is listed as W.O. Greene, Springfield Mass.:

348 Hancock St.348 Hancock St.

The back says "Mama & Papa' Littlefield's first home after being married in 1889. Hancock St. corner Hawthorne. Papa in the window".

When I checked the city's GIS system, the structure on that corner is listed as being built in 1905 -- quite a bit later than 1889. But when I looked at the footprint of the house, it closely matches the footprint from the photo.

I checked the assessor's website, luckily they had a photo and it was from the very same angle:

The house is very clearly the same in the old photo.

Some slack has to be cut for the city though; due to the city hall fire of 1905, the building department records from that period were lost. However, this is a rare case where the assessor's website is more accurate than the building department -- the assessor lists the house as being built in 1880, which seems accurate given the text on the photo.

It's too bad that the owner of this house is not local (they live in Lawrence). I suspect if they lived here they might have appreciated a copy of this rare photo from the late 1800's.

Great picture!

A "for sale" sign appears to be in the second picture. Maybe the next owner would appreciate seeing the first one.

Springfield GIS System

I have the opposite problem with the dates in the GIS system. The online system lists my house as being built in 1915 when in fact I have original blueprints of the property that are dated Oct. 1923. I'm not sure why the date is inaccurate, it can't be blamed on the city hall fire of 1905. I think there is a certain amount of guess work that has gone into dating buildings in Springfield.


Whatever happened to decorating houses with shutters? These two photos illustrate how much more plain a house appears without them. Oh well.

Right around the corner from me

The house has been vacant for years and was set on fire a couple of years ago. It sits boarded up like way too many houses in my neighborhood. It was once quite handsome.

348 hancock


I came across the photo while reserching the street address of 343 hancock. I live in Hawaii and was looking into 343 hancock to buy. can you tell me about your neighborhood? i want to re do one of thease homes for my family. i love the ambeiance, i would like to start a pilot project in bringing thease homes and many others back to there original state of ambiens.

Mahalo Christina

First-hand research

Christina --

I think that you need to do some first-hand research on this property before agreeing to buy it from afar. Although many people willingly live in this neighborhood and in the vicinity of this property, there are many people who would not choose to do so.

The property is desperately in need of some TLC, I'm sure that Mike Dobbs can describe it better but the last time I drove by, I was very saddened to see the beautiful house in this photo looking so distressed.

I would love to see this property redeveloped, but I would hate to have someone buy it from afar, discover that it wasn't what they expected, and then abandon it.

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