Houses of Springfield

Welcome to the Houses Of Springfield website. My name is Ralph Slate and I am a Springfield resident who enjoys the older architecture of the city. I've been collecting old photos of Springfield houses and thought it might be a good idea to make them available for others to see.


With the development of postcards in the early 1900's, it became common for homeowners to feature their houses on these cards. Although these cards are very hard to find, they offer the best quality photographs of houses from that era. The main problem with postcards is that the photographs are often unidentified, so if you don't recognize the house you may never figure out where it is located. It may also not be standing anymore, making it even more difficult to identify!

In the 1930's, as part of a federally-funded Works Progress Administration project, a photograph was taken of every building in Springfield. These photographs are stored at the building department. Although if your house was built in the late 1800's, these photos won't help you see any changes made prior to 1930, a unique aspect of these photos is that garages were also documented. If you're trying to restore your garage to its original state, these photos are invaluable.

Building Department WPA Photographs

Scientific American
Architects and Builders Edition (1885-1894)
Building Edition (1895-1905)

These magazines printed photographs, house plans, and descriptions of many houses primarily in the Northeastern US. An unusual number of Springfield houses were featured, and from these articles you can even learn the original color of the featured house.

The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum has some photos of old houses in their files. Most of the photos are of the "important" Springfield houses, but if you dig deep, especially in other photo archives, you can find photos of other Springfield houses. These are usually somewhat granier, but the owner/location is often noted.

A good source for photos is the Springfield newspaper Springfield Homestead. This paper ran several features on Springfield neighborhoods and printed pictures of the neighborhood houses. The microfilm quality is very poor, so if you can find original copies of this paper you will be better off.

Photos from newspapers, books, and magazines

Private photos

If you have something to contribute to this category, I'd love to see it. Many photos of houses never see the light of day because they are kept in family photo albums. Since the purpose of this website is to document the houses of Springfield, this is the ideal vehicle to allow your photo to be reproduced for the archives (as well as to show off your house!)