Monday, August 10, 2009
100 Morgan Street, South Hadley
I'm going back a few years with this blog post (which is fine in a blog that deals a lot with history, right?) to discuss the sad fate of 100 Morgan Street in South Hadley. This house, built in 1750, was older than the town, having been constructed when South Hadley was still a part of Hadley. For 255 years this little colonial house existed, then, in the summer of 2005, it was torn down. Why? I never really understood why, to be honest. Yes, the house was in poor shape. I spoke to a member of the SH Historical Society about the house, and he seemed unhappy about the situation as well, but said that it was determined to be unliveable. Why? I didn't ask the question, so I don't really know. However, Mount Holyoke College owned the house before selling it to a developer who had no choice but to tear it down, I was told, so perhaps the college is to blame for not carrying out adequate maintenance. That would be a real shame.
Obviously, sometimes there is nothing to be done but tear down a dilapidated building, unless someone has the financial wherewithal to do a huge renovation. For this tiny house, unremarkable except for its great age (there were/are few buildings in the town older than it), demolition was apparently necessary. I think there is more to it than that, but I haven't any evidence, just what I saw when I examined the house myself. It wasn't collapsing!
I just hope some of its pieces were salvaged for use elsewhere. Especially the old doors, beams, and glass.
In the photos provided (interiors and exteriors that I shot shortly before it was torn down), you can see that the house really was just an ordinary-looking dwelling. Inside, it suffered some vandalism, it seems (see the hand prints, etc.). It was still 255 years old, though--no small feat!
Now there are two new houses on the house's lot. You'd never know it ever existed. So it goes sometimes...