The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Monday, April 9, 2007

Alexander House

The other day I received the following email and photograph.

From : Thom Schoepfer
Sent : April 5, 2007 10:46 PM
Subject : Thom to Tom

Hi Tom

Enjoyed the Holyoke vs Spfld blog. I'm sorry and saddened to read about your dangerous encounter. When Alexander house was broken into at Christmas I felt quite violated - as you said more by the "pat on the ass" then the money lost.
I love Springfield (frankly I prefer it to my home here on the Cape - where so many Springfielders like L. Fontaine & Mr. Johnson & the Asselin creeps have come to escape & play).

I take your lead and I do walk around town with a smile for almost all. Looking at all the wonders up and around as Dr. Seuss said, "Oh the places you'll go."

Attached is one of my photos of the Alexander House parlor under repair...looking better.

Best regards & keep on smiling...

Thom Schoepfer


Actually I like a pat on the ass, just not from somebody who's looking for my wallet. The Alexander House is one of the historic properties that are being restored thanks to the building of the new Federal Court Building on State Street. In recent years it had fallen into a pitiful state of decay; in fact during the Albano era it was one of downtown's most notorious crackhouses. Now it has been moved to a new location and is undergoing a full restoration.

This was the second time the house was moved. As you can partially see from this old postcard, Alexander House was originally located in the now vacant space between the Main Branch of the City Library and St. Michael's Cathedral.



I'll try to get a picture of Alexander House as it appears today from the outside when I'm in Springfield tomorrow.



The reason I'll be in Springfield tomorrow is because I will be giving a little talk at the Springfield Republican City Committee meeting tomorrow night. I receive a surprising number of requests from groups around the Valley to give talks but I almost always refuse them. I'm also not a big party booster, because by my lights both major parties have let the American people down big time in recent years. However, I chose to speak at this affair because I used to sometimes attend the GOP meetings in Springfield back when I lived there. They're a good bunch, so I feel like I will be visiting old friends. However, the event is not limited to just party regulars - anyone who is interested can stop by.

It will be at 7:00 at the old Municipal Hospital by Putnam and MassMutual. Refreshments will be served, so if you don't want to hear me, just come, grab some eats and run. I see that the promotion for the event suggests that I will provide "sage advice for the future." Well, to that I can only say that I'm glad the affair is free because otherwise wisdom seekers may be demanding their money back. But if you come, at least you can see how I'm even weirder in person than I am online.

Speaking of weirdness, there is something about me that inspires people to send me their visions.

4 comments:

Heather B said...

Here's one from last October on my Flickr page.

http://tinyurl.com/3cvxnf

ralphslate said...

That photo isn't showing the Alexander House -- it was actually moved for the first time in 1874, and that postcard is from the 1930's or so. The house in the photo was known as St. Luke's Sanitarium, you can see a better photo of it here on eBay.

According to the book "Ten Famous Houses of Springfield", published in 1952 by the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, the 1874 City Directory noted that "Henry Alexander, Jr. has moved his dwelling from the corner of State and Elliot Street to the easterly side of his lot, with the exception of the two wings, which have been placed near the barn and will be fitted into a dwelling for his hired man. A large and commodious ell has been constructed in the rear of the main building, and will be fitted up into a dining room, kitchen, china closet, ice chest, etc. The whole cost of improvements will be about $10,000".

I think that the house must have been where the courthouse now stands, where a parking lot stood before the courthouse project started. You can see the layout of the property in 1910 on a website called Wardmaps.com. You can also see what it looked like before the project started on Windows Live, which, despite its name, hasn't updated its aerial photo in a while.

I had someone send me a copy of a postcard of the house that used to stand where the Alexander House now stands.

Grateful said...

don't know about the Alexander House, but that guy does a good imitation of Bob Weir channeling Jim Morrison.

Tommy said...

Thanks Ralph, you are the answerman! Thanks to Heather too. And yes that guy is really out there, what's scary is that a little of it makes sense.