Adams survived – relatively unscathed – the plague of Urban “Renewal” that destroyed so many beautiful and historic buildings in the late 20th century. Here are a few of our architectural gems and historic places listed on the National Register.
Built to serve as an armory for the Massachusetts National Guard, a role it fulfilled until new facilities were built in 1914. After it was decommissioned from military use it was converted into commercial and retail space, uses which continue today.
The original uses of the building were to provide retail shops on the ground floor and apartment-style housing above, a common feature of buildings of the period. It is still used in those ways today.
The Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company, established in Adams in 1888 by the locally prominent Plunkett family. The business was very successful because the Plunketts focused on more fashionable fine cotton fabric. The company grew rapidly between its founding and 1900, when President William McKinley, a friend of the Plunketts, laid the cornerstone for their Number 4 Mill. The building has been converted to apartments and office space.
Built in the 1889 when Adams was experiencing rapid population growth due to the success of its manufacturers.
The Jones Block was built during the industrial expansion in Adams to accommodate additional store frontage and housing. Ornamentation was simple for the days standards. The block was built in 1895 for Albert Jones, a clerk in a local clothing retailer. Originally two stories in height, it housed that store on the ground floor, and the local Hibernian Hall on the second floor. The third floor was added in the early 20th century, using matching materials and styling to the original construction, and replicating its original cornice.
The 16 acre cemetery is Adams’ oldest, with its earliest burials dating to 1760. It occupies a prominent place in Adams, with nearby Mount Greylock as a backdrop. Although it began as a burying ground for the community’s Quakers, its use was broadened in the 19th century, and a major update of its landscape was implemented in in the late 1860s to a design by local civil engineer Charles F. Sayles.
The Mausert Block was built by George and Conrad Mausert, brothers and local businessmen. Walter J Donovan established his law offices on the second floor from 1920 until 1970. F.W. Woolworth moved into 19-21 Park Street in 1930s. It once contained the Adams Masonic Hall. Today, the building is being redeveloped to house new retail and apartments.
Historic structures on the summit are the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower, Bascom Lodge, the Thunderbolt Ski Shelter. Because of the cultural significance of the mountain and excellent examples CCC period park structures, the Mount Greylock Summit Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in on April 20, 1998.
Built around 1890, during Adams’ industrial boom, to house an engine company of the Adams Fire Department on the ground floor with apartments above. The building is now the home of The Firehouse Cafe.
Formerly the Greylock Woolen Mill, Benjamin F. Phillips took over the operation to manufacture “cashmeres, ladies’ dress goods, and shawls” into the 1930. The company went through a variety of transformations, being known at the end as the Adams Woolen Manufacturing Company. Today the building is owned by Mullen Moving and Storage.
These interesting structures were built along the North Adams Branch of the Boston & Albany Railroad. The rail line is now the Ashtuwillticook Rail Trail and the station is now the home of AJs Trailside Pub.
Quakers from Rhode Island were among the earliest settlers in Adams. This building was constructed in classic Quaker style with utter simplicity and lack of ornamentation. It is under the care of the Adams Historical Society and open to visitors.
Originally built as the residence of A.H. Simmons, this beautiful example of the Queen Anne style is currently adapted to retail and apartments.
The Summer Street Historic District is a historic district on Crandall, Center, East, Liberty, Orchard and Summer Streets in Adams, Massachusetts. The district features a variety of Greek Revival, Late Victorian, and Federal style architectural examples.