Mausert Apartments at 21 Park St
The Stores at 19, 23 & 25 Park St
Adams, Massachusetts 01220
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those qualified to judge pronounce the plans as calling for the handsomest business block in the Berkshires
Dr. Barker's House
The Greek Revival house at 20 Summer Street, built in 1825 by Dr. John Barker, a prominent Adams physician, originally stood on Park Street on the site of the Mausert Block.
St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church was originally built as the Congregational Church on Park Street where the Mausert Block is today, across the street from the Town Hall. It was moved down the street in 1870 when the Irish bought it to be the first Roman Catholic house of worship in South Adams. Today it is the back end of the Simmons Furniture Store. The spire was removed when the store front was added in 1902.
Extract from Lost Adams by Eugene F.Michalenko.
Photograph by Chas E. Legate, framed pictures on Park
Dr. Barker's House relocated from Park Street
Anna, Dr. Barker's daughter, refused to leave the Barker House when her brother, John Barker wanted to relocate the building from Park Street. She continued to stay in the house for the ten days while the building was moved along Park Street, Center Street and Summer Street. "Neighbors brought food to Anna on her journey (as no fire was allowed), and she thoroughly enjoyed the trip."
New store October 15, 1898.
Original Church relocated to 71 Park St. in 1870 (now part of Simmons Furniture).
View of downtown Adams in 1882 (click to enlarge)
For a high resolution version visit the Library of Congress - http://www.loc.gov/item/91680093
Barker House, constructed in 1825 was relocated to 20 Summer St. in 1897
1900 to 1920
NEW ADAMS BUSINESS BLOCK
Conrad Mausert of this city has leased the Barker lot on Park street in Adams and will put up at once a two story frame store and office building, 30 by 30 feet in size. There will be two stores on the first floor and well equipped offices above.
Contractor Trembley of Adams will do the work. The location is one of the best in the town of Adams.
New thoroughly modern hotel for Adams
To be constructed on the Barker lot and called The Barker House. Conrad Mausert's new building to be relocated. George Mausert's lease sold or give up.
A foundation is to be built under George Mausert's block on Park Street. The cellar is being dug out and the dirt thrown into the old cellar on the Barker lot in the rear of the night lunch.
A new hotel is planned by Henry Barret on Spring and Myrtle Street.
Mausert Bros. secure lease and will erect building
Architect Fleming already drawn plans for the building. Two buildings to be moved - E.J.Ferriers "Waldorf Astoria" (off site) and Miss Broderick's milliner (north). Kevlin's lunch cart will be moved off the lot entirely.
Dispute over Land - Will Mausert Bros. Build?
Jenks & Mooney have a recorded lease for part of the Barker lot. Mausert Bros. are of the opinion that the above lease is no use.
Adams Real Estate Deal Conrad Mausert of this City and George Mausert of Adams, who had a lease of the Barker lot in Adams, and about which there was some question owing to other claims, have now bought the lot. A three story buff brick block will be erected at once the other buildings on the lot being removed. The building will be 100 by 70 feet in size and will contain five stores.
Purchase price for the land was $25,400 with a mortgage obtained from Mr.Barker for $3,800 and $800.
Aug 30 -
Work on the excavation for the new building on the Barker lot was commenced by D. B. Cook this morning.
Description of Proposed Mausert's Block.
The block will rival the memorial building for beauty and those who are qualified to judge, pronounce the plans as calling for the handsomest business block in Berkshire County. The third floor dance and banquet hall is designed for a secret lodge.
JOHN BARKER HAS HIS TROUBLES
From the many events that are transpiring It would seem that John L. Barker has his troubles. Friday afternoon he engaged in an altercation with George Mausert about the driveway which Mr. Mausert is to have on his property on Park street. Mr. Barker sold the lot but he still feels that things must go to suit him. Mr. Mausert gave him no satisfaction and John L. threatened trouble.
This morning- at 3.30 o'clock one of the policemen heard a noise at the new cellar which Mr. Mausert is putting under the barn on the Barker lot and thinking it rather strange went to investigate. He found Mr. Barker busy at work tearing down the foundation. He had a crowbar and was working like a mad man. The officer told him he must stop and took him to his home in Summer street. It is thought that Mr. Barker's mind may be effected and no doubt he will be examined by physicians.
WILL HAVE DAMAGE REPAIRED
John L. Barker who unceremoniously engaged himself to make an attack and tear down the wall which is being built under the barn on Mausert Bros. lot on Park Street has seen the error of his engagement. He cannot just account why he did it but admits that it was rather a foolish undermining. He has engaged masons to repair the damage done.
Railroad Company gives permission to move building across the tracks.
Mr. George Mausert travelled all the way to Boston to obtain permission to move the outstanding building from Park Street across the railroad tracks to final location on Mr.Grath's lot on Spring Street.
Over foot of land missing from Mausert lot
Surveyor Haskins unable to find missing 18" of frontage called for in the deed.
Feb 14 -
TENANTS FOR NEW BLOCK. Mausert Bros, who built the new block on the Barker lot on Park street announce that it will be ready for occupancy about March 1, and already tenants for nearly the whole block have been secured. The stores are being fitted with steel ceilings and will be lighted with electricity or gas. The boilers for heating are in place and the block will contain all modern improvements. Stores will be rented to A. J. Hurd, Jeweller: Miss Broderick, millinery; George Appel of Cohoes, N. Y., dry goods; Labrie Bros., groceries; and one store is still to be rented. Some of the offices in the block have been rented and the large hall is to be occupied by Hoosuck Valley Lodge of odd fellows.
Feb 21 -
Local Union believed the "Unfair" is unjust
Feb 26 -
Local Union had not declared an "Unfair"
It will be impossible for the contractors to finish the work on Mausert Bros. Block on Park Street, before next week.
March 02 -
The covering in front of Mausert Bros. Block on Park Street has been removed preparatory to the opening of the stores next week.
March 27 - TO RENT-
A first class newly built store and with all modern equipments. It is in Mausert Bros. new block on Park Street in Adams. Inquire George Mausert.
March 29 -
Among those who will occupy rooms in the Mausert Block on its completion April 1 are Dr. F.J.Wilder, Building Architect James Fleming, Dr. Bond, Dr. Hurd, Surveyor Haskins and Frank Deno.
May 21 -
A new fire escape has been built onto hte rear of the Mausert Block on Park Street.
May 29 -
Formal dedication of Grand Lodge.
Hoosuck Valley lodge of Odd Fellow's new quarters opened with anout 250 people present. A banquet with refreshments followed by a social hour and then dancing until midnight on the large hall.
Dec 29 -
Great Damage by High Wind.
At Adams the Mausert Block, the biggest block in the town, was unroofed and the heavy timbers carried through the air for a distance of seventy-five yards.
Jan. 28 -
Fire in the Mausert Block
Did damage to the extent of $10,000 or $12,000. The breaking of gas pipe in the buliding added greatly to the difficulty in subduing the blaze.
During the excitement caused by the fire, a horse ran away and narrow excapes from injury were had by many people. The horse hitched to a post in front of W.R.Green's block, made a sudden boltand broke his fastenings turning short, he tipped over the sleigh and ran to Center Street with the front bob. The animal turned down Myrtle Street and stopped in Liveryman Wiethauper's yard. The sleigh was loaded with grain and this was tipped out on the street. The horse is owned by Mr.Beverly, an East Cheshire farmer.
Notions and Fancy Goods
George N.Yeaton, Adams, Mass, has opened his new department store in the Mausert Block. The three stores, formerly occupied by the Boston Butler Company, Conrad Mausert and M.Appel, have been converted into one big store, giving Mr.Yeaton by far the largest retail establishment in Adams.
Nov. 10 -
Mausert Block Improvements
Clarence W.Gallup of North Adams, who recently purchased the Mausert Block on Park Street, is making some improvements in the property in the way of new paint on the front and the renewal of some of the plate glass windows which were broken, and otherwise getting the stores ready for occupancy. Interior decorations are also being made. It is intimated that some of the stores in the block will be occupied soon.
July 27 -
Arrested on Charge of Defrauding His Creditors.
Appel Held on $2,500 Bail
Major Appel, formerly a dry goods merchant of Adams, a hearing in whose bankruptcy case was held in Pittsfield yesterday, was arrested at 6:30 o'clock last night under the exeat proceedings on a charge of defrauding his creditors.
July 30 -
Displayed $3,000 in Court
Arrest of Major Appel recalls action of his Father.
At one of the previous hearings in the case Major Appel's father displayed before Referee Burke at the County Comissioners' room $3,000 in bills to let the Berkshire officials know that he could swing the "long Green" when necessary
Sept. 07 -
Other Clerk's his Guests
Amide Love, Clerk in McGaughan & Menard's dry good store, Park Street, entertained the other clerks last night. They were his guests at the show given by the Enterprise Theater Co. in the Mausert Block. They enjoyed it very much.
Aug. 06 -
Albert C Houghton purchases Mausert Block and subsequently bequethed to his daughters - Florence Gallup of North Adams and Susan McLean of Troy, NY.
Mausert Block a few months after opening in 1901 (click to enlarge)
Horace H. Ainslie's Up-To-Date Drug Store in 1901 (click to enlarge)
The Appel Store (Dry Goods), Labrie Bros (groceries) and A.J.Hurd (Jeweller) at the end
(click to enlarge)
A Celebration on Park Street - pre 1907 (click to enlarge)
The C.T. Plunkett Mansion (now Town Hall) was constructed opposite the Mausert Block in 1907.
Lapham house (left in upper pictures) was demolished to make way for the new mansion.
Street tram (Berkshire #80) on Park Street between the Mausert Block and C.T.Plunkett Mansion
Dec. 29 -
Attorney's New Office
Attorney Walter J.Donovan, who a year ago opened an office for the practice of law in Adams in the Armory Block at the head of the stairs leading to the second floor, has removed his office to the Mausert Block on Park Street. His new quarters are those formerly occupied by the New England Telephone Company for its Adams exchange.
The lighting in the new office will be good, whereas in the other office it was necessary to light it artificially at all times. Repairs and improvements have been made since the telephone exchange was removed and Lawyer Donovan will have convenient and improved quarters. He will continue to keep the office opened the last three evenings of each week.
1920 to 1940
George Mausert unviels plans for Theater
The Sullivan Brothers had their fingers in every theatrical pie in North Adams; if they didnít own it, they controlled it. George Mausert unveiled plans to build a new theater on State Street, to be named the Mohawk.
The Sullivans had to act fast. Using property they owned on Center Street, they built a large theater with a full stage and dressing rooms. They ordered seats, a screen, curtains and projectors but never took delivery or completed the theater. It spent its entire forty-plus year existence as thier headquarters and became known as the spite theater.
If Mausert had continued with his project, the Sullivans could have finished thier theater and got it opened while Mausert was getting his ground broken. The Mohawk was never built. George Mausert moved to Florida a few years later.
Smith Bros Leases Space
Organised in 1898 the local Insurance Agency founded by Peter P. and his brother Fred W.Smith eventually merged with McAndrews Insurance Agency in 1962.
Feb. 10 -
F.W.Woolworth Leases Space
What was to become a retail icon for 68 years, until 1993, the building became known as the Woolworth Building.
Oct 1 -
Attorney Walter J.Donovan buys the Building
Among the big real estate transfers which took place in Adams during the year of 1926 are the selling of the Mausert Block on Park Street by the A.C.Houghton heirs to Attorney Walter J.Donovan.
(1926 Year in Review.)
May 28 -
Reported Chain Store Co. Will Lease Store Here
It is reported that a concern which operates a large chain of department store has practically completed negotiations for the lease of a store in the Mausert Block.
Attorney Walter J.Donovan, owner of the block, when questioned today by a Transcript reporter about the report, declined to comment on it.
June 25 -
W.T.Grant Company Will Locate Here
Leases Two Stores in MausertBuilding - Opening Within a few Months
The W.T.Grant Company, which conducts a chain of hundreds of stores, including one in North Adams, has leased from Attorney Walter J.Donovan, the two stores in the Mausert building now occupied by J.L.McCulloch's meat market and Smith brothers real estate office. Both stores will be combined into one large store and a new front will be constructed on them. The alterations are expected to be completed in time for the opening within a few months.
July 21 - B.E. Peebles relocates.
Peebles jewelry store was originally A.J.Hurd, the original 1901 occupant of the store on the far right (southern side) of the building.
Aug. 02 -
Peebles' Jewelry Store to be Occupied by Smith Bros.
Work of remodelling the store formerly occupied by Burton E. Peebles as a jewelry store in the Mausert Block on Park Street is progressing rapidly and Smith Bros. real estate and insurance agents, who will occupy it, plan to enter on September 1, it was stated this morning. Smith Bros. office and J.L.McCulloch's meat market, the adjoining store, will be occupied by Grant's department store and the work of remodelling these two stores will start soon.
1920s - 1930s
The small arched storefront (now 25 Park Street) was originally an 7'-0" wide alleyway to the back of the building and converted sometime in the 1920's or early 30's.
The next door Atlas Theatre was demolished in the 1930's and replaced by the new Adams Theatre opened on January 14th, 1938.
March 01 -
George N.Yeaton Dies in Darien
Mr. Yeaton came to this town in 1889 and established a dry goods store. After some time he agian moved his business to a store now ultilized by W.T.Grant on Park Street.
Besides a sister, Miss Lillian Yeaton, also of Darien, he is survived by several sons. The body will be brought to Adams Thursday noon and interned in Bellevue cemetery.
June 27 -
Finish Construction of Six Apartments
Construction of six modern apartments in the Mausert Block on Park Street, owned by Attorney Walter J.Donovan has now been completed with five of the six already rented and some of them occupied. The apartments are known as the Mausert Apartments and are equipped with Electrolux refrigerator, gas stove and inner door beds. They are located on a floor of the block formerly utilized as Knights of Columbus Hall.
Attorney Donovan plans to have six or eight more apartments built on the same floor probably next winter in 1940.
North Adams Transcript
July 10 -
Miss Dorothy Shaw is Francis' Daunais' Bride
Miss Dorothy Shaw, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shaw of 35 Walnut Street, became the bride of Francis Daumais of 59 Bellevue Avenue, at a pretty summer wedding on Saturday Afternoon. After a wedding trip to Maine Mr. and Mrs. Daumais are to reside in one of the new Mausert Apartments.
George Mausert's proposed Mohawk Theater helped create the "Spite Theater" in North Adams.
A new store was created in the Mausert alleyway to right of the Atlas Theatre
(click to enlarge)
1939 Grant Company, left, and F.W.Woolworths occupying 2 bays on the right (click to enlarge)
1940 to 1960
F.W.Woolworth Expansion and new storefront
A new addition is added to the back of the building allowing the Woolworth store to expand. As part of the expansion, a new storefront is added across the entire (three bays) south side of the building.
This resulted in Smith Bros Insurance Agency relocating to 7 Park Street having been in the Mausert Block since 1922 and its current store location since 1927, when W.T.Grant Co moved in.
The W.T Grant store, a Massachusetts based nationwide chain of mass-merchandise stores founded by William Thomas Grant, continued to occupy the north half of the building.
As part of the expansion of the remaining new second floor apartments a new 3rd floor apartment was added in the winter of 1939/1940. Two new square windows were added on the front and two on the back.
Jan 14 -
George Mausert born 1867 in Albany NY, died aged 75
Resident of St Petersburg, Florida since 1929 and owner of the Gem Apartments.
July 15 -
W.T. Grant Company will Close its Adams Store
Employees of the W.T.Grant company on Park Street have been notified that the store will be closed in September. It is reported this is in keeping with a decision of the company to close some of its stores in smaller communities.
Sept 05 -
W.T. Grant Store to Remain Open
Present lease extended until February. Announcement that the W.T.Grant company on Park Street will continue in that location instead of closing on September 23 as previously planned was made today by Manager Robert T. Jacobsen.
The lease held by teh Grant Company was to have expired Sept 30 but has now been extended to feb 1 1951. Arrangements had been made for a closing out sale but these plans have now been cancelled.
Jan 04 -
Grant Company Closing Adams Store This Month
Employees of the W.T.Grant company have been notified that the Adams store on Park Street will be premanently closed at the end of the month. A store closing sale is to be readied in the meantime.
June 08 -
Central Radio Leases Store On Park Street
Store space formerly occupien by W.T.Grant Company in the Walter J.Donovan block on Park Street has been leased by the Central Radio and Electrical store of which Abraham Cramer is proprieter.
Central Radio plans to occupy the Park Street premises by July 1. The concern now has a store on Myrtle Street in Adams and also at 17 center Street in North Adams. The Myrtle Street store will be discontinued.
Conrad H Mausert born 1877 in Albany NY, died aged 75
Resident of Pinellas, Florida, formerly of North Adams. A memorial to him and his wife, Sadie Doherty who died in 1943, is to be created in the new $1,350,000 North Adams Hospital.
April 02 -
Mrs.Virginia Perreault is Given Farewell Party
Mrs. Virginia Perreault of 25 Park Street was given a farewell pary by her neighbors in the mausert Apartments Monday night at her home. Mrs. Frank Pytko was hostess.
A general social program, including television programs, was enjoyed and refreshments were served. Mrs. Perreault was presented a gift from the group.
Mrs. Perreault, who was residented in the Mausert Apartments about 10 years, is to move soon to North Adams to make her home.
North Adams Transcript
July 13 -
Grand Opening Sale - Strauss Stores
To celebrate our 18th birthday, we invite you to enjoy the opening of new quarters at 23 Park Street, next to Woolworth's.
Dec 19 -
Christmas Party held at Mausert Apartments
Occupants of the Mausert Apartments on Park Street held their annual Christmas Party last night at the apartment of Miss Zephrine DeBlois and Mrs. Alma Kleiner as assistant hostesses.
The apartment was decorated with seasonal greenery and novelties and there was a lighted Christmas tree.
Christmas carols were sung, games were played and prizes were won by Miss Nan Haggerty and Miss Eva Maynard. Gifts were exchanged and lunch was served.
North Adams Transcript
New Woolworth's Manager, Stanley O'Connor takes over, eventually running the store for 26 years.
June 20 -
Strauss Stores become Schwartz Stores.
New and larger F.W.Woolworth storefront photographed in October 1940 (click to enlarge)
New Strauss Store Grand Opening in July 1955 (click to enlarge)
1960 to 1980
Donovan O'Conner Relocates.
Law firm moves into second floor of new building located across the street at location of the former Adams Supermarket.
Arlene Vachereau remembers the Mausert Block being next door to the caretakers' apartment so "you could smell whatever they were cooking for supper." A dentist in the same building often used one of the attorneys and left false teeth with the firm to give away to customers.
J.Norman O'Conner Jr., remembers "running all those library books across the street with a hand cart. I was about 12 then."
Nov. 17 - Adams faces deadline on urban renewal.
Urban renewal (Project Park Pleasant) envisions major change to downtown Adams including a new indoor mall on Park Street adn demolition of 68 buildings in the area.
Nov. 18 - Mall seen as boost to downtown business.
Detail images of the impact of the new indoor mall on Park Street with two new pocket parks.
June 15 - Adams meeting kills urban renewal plan.
Adams Selectmen vote down urban renewal project despite strong support from the meeting attendees.
April 01 - Woolworth Store Modernizes.
A New Look - F.W.Woolworth's store in Adams has installed attractive and modern low metal counters and islands to replace outmoded high counters.
May 27 -
Harvey + Laura Daniels buys building for $45,000.
From owner of 49 years, Attorney Walter J. Donovan.
May 10 -
Pytkos celebrates 50 years of marriage.
Surprise party arranged by thier daughters for 40 year resident and custodians of the Mausert Block.
Nov 22 -
Death of Walter J.Donovan, veteran lawyer
Walter James Donovan, a veteran Adams lawyer and senior partner in the Donovan & O'Connor law firm died in his sleep early today. He was 87.
Nov 23 -
Walter J.Donovan (Transcript Editorial)
Walter Donovan was a rare man whose vision so transcended his occupation that his legacy will last long after his death. He was a lawyer and a good one. He was a teacher who shaped the careers of hundreds of lawyers. He was a philosopher and a wise man who as town moderator guided countless town meetings in Adams. It will be said that Berkshire County lost a great lawyer. More accurately, this part of the state lost a great citizen.
May 16 -
Gene + Cynthia Gambell buys the building for $52,000.
View of Park St from the north (click to enlarge)
Schwartz Store and Woolworth in the 1970's (click to enlarge)
Woolworth storefront in the 1970's (click to enlarge)
National Historic Register 1979 submission photo by Susan Bergeron (click to enlarge)
1980 to 2000
Oct 10 -
Thomas + Antionette Hawke buys the building for $67,500.
(with Bruce + Suzzanne Patenaude 1980 - 1989)
Dec 31 -
Inspector Leitch condemns apartments
It was recommended that the third floor apartments (and fourth floor attic apartment) be vacated due to the roof trusses deflecting one inch. This did not affect the second or ground retail floor occpuants.
Jan 05 -
ACDC to review Application
P+H Realty has run into a snag in its plan to upgrade the Woolworth Building at 19-25 Park Street.
Jan 09 -
ACDC to review Nine Applications
P+H Realty owns the Woolworth building on Park Street which it wants to refurbish to retain its prime place in the business strip. The firm, made up of Bruce Patenaude and Thomas Hawke of North Adams, is busy assessing the process and cost of repairing the roof of the structure since its sagging led two weeks ago to condemnation of its upper floors by Adams building inspector James J. Leitch.
Jan 19 -
Raynard Getty and Perry Comeau complained that stones had fallen onto their cars from the roof of the Woolworth building on Park Street. Investigation found that someone had been on the roof to clear off an ice buildup, and the stones had accidently fallen off.
Jan 20 -
The Adams Community Development Corporation (ACDC) reviewed an application by P&H Realty, owner of the former Mausert Block otherwise known as the Woolworth Building on Park Street. The cost of refurbishment is being established.
Sweet Shoppe / The Crest goes on fire
A two-story woodframe building next door, a homemade candy shop called Sweet Shoppe, went up in flames. The candy shop was completely destroyed, while in the Mausert block, "smoke and water damage affected most apartments" and "much of the attic was burned, and two apartments on one floor were destroyed, as was one on another floor,"
Long Term Woolworth Manager retires
Known as the Park Street gardener, Stanley O'Connor managed the Woolworth Store for 26 years from 1957 to 1983.
Stanley C. O'Connor (Stan) was born August 15, 1917, in New Kingston, NY. The eldest of four children, he was raised on his parents dairy farm in the Catskill mountains. After graduating High School, he attended Albany Business School and graduated with a degree in business management.
In 1941, he began his career in store management with the F.W. Woolworth Company. Shortly after beginning his career he had to take leave to serve in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. During the war, he was never deployed overseas, bu was stationed in Montgomery Alabama.
In 1943, Stan married his wife of 60 years, Beverly (Bev). After the war he returned to work with the Woolworth company and managed a number of Woolworth stores in New York State.
In 1957, the Woolworth company transferred Stan to the Adams, Massachusetts store. Stan and Bev bought a home in Town Crest Village, Cheshire and settled in to raise there three children (Greg, Lynn, and Sharon). Stan fell so much in love with Adams / Cheshire and the Bershires, that he refused all promotion opportunities given him by the Woolworth company to move and manage larger stores.
From 1957 to 1983 when Stan retired with 42 years service with the Woolworth company, Stan managed the Park Street Woolworth's. Because, one of Stan's hobbies at home was gardening, in the spring the front sidewalk of the store on Park Street would look like the local nursery with all the plants he would have for sale. This earned him the nickname "The Park Street Gardener.
Stan was also a long time member of the Cheshire Lions Club.
Stan passed away on April 20, 2003, at the age of 85
Last remaining branch in Berkshire County. "Generations have grown up in that store," nearby storeowner John Socha said. " ... Everything's going to revolve around malls now. I doubt if there are going to be any more real downtowns."
The day of the Sweet Shop fire (click to enlarge)
The day after the Sweet Shop / Crest Fire
Stan O'Connor, the Park Street Gardener, retires after 26 years managing Woolworths
Apr 30 -
Lin Chiong buys the building for $600,000.
Resident of Boston purchases building without ever seeing the inside.
March 28 -
No tenants were relocated but notice issued due to owner's failure to make repairs to fire escape at the rear.
March 03 -
Braytonville Properties llc purchases Mausert block and hires developers, redpm, to commence a substantial renovation.
June 20 -
redpm complete the new storefront and stabalization work on the building. Project then delayed by a year due to sprinkler appeal.
For information on the renovation click on the picture link below.
New storefront completed in 2012 (click to enlarge)
Susan B Anthony Day Street Fair in 2013 (click to enlarge)