City Library and Elijah Blake House, 1887

I picked up a neat glass negative of the Springfield City Library. This negative apparently belonged to a former photographer from the Springfield Union, it was taken in 1887, just a few years after the library was built (in 1871). Most other photos I have seen of the library have been closer to end of its life in 1912.

What is really interesting about this photo is that it shows the Elijah Blake House in its original location on State Street. This house is still standing, but is now on Edwards Street, and it serves as an office building for the Springfield Museums Association.

Blake, a city engineer, built the house in 1839, and lived there until his death in 1880, at which time a relative (Marshal Blake) seems to have taken over the house. According to the website Historic Buildings of Massachusetts, the house was purchased by the Springfield Library Association in 1890, was moved from its original location in 1892 to allow for construction of the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, then moved again in 1898 to make way for the Museum of Natural History, and then again to its present location in 1996. They don't build them like that anymore!

Blake House and Library

It is impressive that that house was moved so many times. what is really amzing is that they moved the Library pictured with all the books in back onto the quadrangle while the built the new,present Library. I have lots of pictures of it back on the quad, hard to believe.

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