by Laurel | February 4th, 2012

04 February 2012

It is heart-breaking to see how many buildings in Holyoke have deteriorated to the point of becoming really dangerous. While I would say this is not one of the city’s most notable buildings, it is still interesting. Does anyone remember what this building was in terms of business? Looks like the second and third floors had apartments.

The location is Main Street, almost on the corner of Main and Hamilton Streets, across the street from the Greek Orthodox Church. Nueva Esperanza, Number 401 Main Street, is next door, on the corner (the building at the far right in the image below). The building has the signage indicating the building is unsafe, important for firefighters to know. There is no roof on this building and the interior is a crumbling mess that looks dangerous and relatively accessible from the rear.



Closeup of the Door, there is a large hole in the front door, to the left of the handle, you can peer into.

Front Door

Front Door

My husband used his camera to shoot an image of the interior, through the previously mentioned hole in the door.

Grab Shot of the Interior

Grab Shot of the Interior

Finally, from Bing.com maps you can see the entire roof is gone.

Roof gone

Roof gone

Aerial image, Bing.com; All other images © HolyokeMass.com –Laurel O’Donnell & Llewellyn Lafford, all rights reserved. Images taken 28 January 2012.

4 Responses to “Unsafe”

  1. Norm Barsalou says:

    O’Donnel’s Package Store, maybe, and next door a distributor of gum, candy and cigs, Polyps, or something close to that?

  2. Thanks for the tip, Norm. You are very close — I applaud your memory! I looked up O’Donnell’s in my 1952 Holyoke Phone Book and it is listed as being 417 Main Street. When I Googled 417 Main St., Holyoke it maps it as the building to the left of the one with the largest white roof with the red arrow on it — in the image above — and has it as a working music studio / percussion supply store called Holyoke Harp & Drum. I need to get this phone book in a database so I can do some reverse lookups.

  3. Norm Barsalou says:

    Thanks for the update. I just don’t remember theMusic store.

  4. Mark Zanger says:

    I think I remember the music store, which was owned by a highlands neighbor, George something. The location I remember for the Polep Candy and Tobacco company (a wholesale enterprise) was an old railroad station farther into the flats. My father, who wholesaled newspapers, magazines, and (all too briefly, toys) at Holyoke News Company (at one point on the other end of Main Street, later by the canal and the Chicopee bridge, ultimately almost to West Springfield) was a second-generation colleage of the Mort Polep, the second generation of his enterprise. They may well have been on Main Street before the station. What else I remember toward that end of main street in the 50s was the Kotok wholesale fruit and vegetable company, another family business that were friends of ours. At some point Main street must have been main street, with retail stores, and later these became wholesale businesses?


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Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


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