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2022 Most Endangered Historic Resources List

Since 1993, the Massachusetts Most Endangered Historic Resources Program has been an important education and advocacy tool for Preservation Massachusetts, helping us identify endangered historic resources from across the state and work collaboratively with partners toward positive preservation outcomes. Though listing is only an honorary designation, it is one of the first steps in focusing statewide attention on the resources, their challenges, and their communities, and can serve as a catalyst for preservation opportunities. 

The Most Endangered Program is about so much more than preserving the history of old buildings. It is about elevating the stories of people and places - past and present - that make our Commonwealth so rich and vibrant. But this work does not begin and end with Preservation Massachusetts. It takes a strong coalition of advocates to come together to achieve positive outcomes for their historic resources and the places they call home.

The theme for this year's Most Endangered Program is "Planning for Community," and we are proud to highlight resources that are not only historically significant, but also emphasize continued importance and possibility for their communities. 

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We invite you to learn more about the Endangered Resources for 2022 below. Over the next few months we will be sharing more information (and hopefully positive updates) about them, so be sure to check back here often.  

Isolation Hospital Complex, Springfield

Springfield's former Isolation Hospital Complex consists of two connected buildings at 1414 & 1400 State Street. The original Isolation Hospital building was built in 1930-31 by local architects Kirkham & Parlett at 1414 State Street. It is a prominent example of Art Deco architecture and is the only building of its type in the Pine Point neighborhood. The original building was composed of two wings constructed in the shape of an "L" set back from State Street. The four-storied wing contained administrative offices while the five-storied wing housed the patient ward. Isolation Hospital was originally constructed to treat contagious diseases. A solarium was constructed on the property in 1936. In the early 1950s, a modern building was constructed at 1400 State Street and connected to the original Isolation Hospital building. Isolation Hospital served as the Springfield's municipal hospital until 1998 when the complex was sold by the City. Today, the complex is owned by Vibra Healthcare, LLC, although only the 1950s addition is still being used under the name Vibra Hospital.

Nominated to the Most Endangered List by the Springfield Preservation Trust, the Isolation Hospital Complex represents an important and underutilized historic resource for the Springfield community with unique architecture and excellent reuse potential. 

Weston Railroad Station, Weston

Located near the Weston town center along the scenic Mass Central Rail Trail, the Weston Railroad Station (constructed ca. 1881) is one of the last original depots for the Central Massachusetts Railroad and is a notable example of Stick Style architecture. Chartered in 1868, the Central Massachusetts Railroad connected passengers and freight from Boston to Northampton, one of many rail lines that crisscrossed the state during the 19th and 20th centuries. It also offered connections to other cities outside of Massachusetts, including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Washington D.C. The station welcomed its last passengers in 1971, although freight traffic continued until 1980. The station was briefly used as a distribution center for a local newspaper. Unfortunately, the Weston Station has fallen into disrepair over the years, and structural damage to the roof and foundation threaten its stability.

The Town of Weston hopes to purchase the structure from its current owners and incorporate it into the Rail Trail, linking Weston Station to a network of historic sites and landmarks related to the Central Massachusetts Railroad across the State. The station itself could be rehabilitated and transformed into a usable community space such as an art gallery or office space. There is great reuse potential with the station, and the neighboring community of Wayland has seen similar success with the Wayland Station. The nominators hope that Weston Station's inclusion on the Most Endangered List will help garner more statewide attention for this important historical resource.

White Cliffs Mansion, Northborough

White Cliffs Mansion in Northborough is a Queen Anne/Shingle Style building designed by prominent Springfield architect Benjamin Hammett Seabury and constructed in 1886. It was built for Massachusetts inventor and firearms manufacturer Daniel B. Wesson and his family. Wesson is perhaps best known for his partnership with Horace Smith to create Smith & Wesson firearm manufacturing company in Springfield. The house remained in the Wesson family until 1910. During the remainder of the 20th century, the Mansion was transformed into a restaurant/event space under various owners, hosting weddings, school reunions, proms, and other community events until it was closed to the public in 2014. 

In 2017, the Town of Northborough purchased the building to save it from demolition utilizing Community Preservation Act funds, and performed a number of stabilizing repairs, including on the roof, masonry, windows, and chimney. The Town recognizes the importance of rescuing White Cliffs not just to preserve the history and architecture, but also to highlight its continued importance and relevance to the wider community. In 2022, the Town issued a Request for Proposals for White Cliffs, hoping to garner more attention for the building. The Town hopes to reopen White Cliffs as a hospitality/event space, preserving its important history and retaining its functional use for the community.

Orange Armory, Orange

The Orange Armory serves not only as a memorial to Massachusetts' citizen soldiers, but also as a community gathering space to be enjoyed by the residents of Orange and surrounding area. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, the Armory building was designed by Boston architects Clarence T. McFarland and Herbert Warren Colby and was dedicated in 1913 as a home for Company E, 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. The men of the 2nd Regiment served with distinction in the Spanish-American War and the First World War. The Armory was dedicated as a veteran's memorial in 2013, and the names of Guardsmen who lost their lives during the Spanish-American War are listed on a plaque displayed in the building. 

Ownership of the building was transferred to the Town in 1975 and over the years, the Armory has served a variety of purposes for the community, including housing Town offices, a senior center, and a space for community events. A roller rink business operated in the Armory from 1940 until 2020. Orange continues to host a farmers' market in the Armory's parking lot.

The building was closed to the public in 2021 due to a number of structural issues, including a leaking roof and drainage issues in the basement. In 2022, the Town of Orange issued a Request for Information for the Armory, hoping to raise awareness about the building's plight. The Town's Historical Commission and Office of Community Development hope that listing on the Most Endangered List will help bring statewide attention to the Armory, raising much needed funds for its preservation and allowing it to reopen to the public once again.

To return to the Most Endangered Resource page

Click Here

For a list of previously listed resources since the program began in 1993 

Click Here

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