Long over due update:
I recieved a couple of emails:
Hi ! In a book entitled "Holyoke An Architectural Perspective, printed in 1973 for the Holyoke centenial there are two pages of close up photos of the Essex. The description is: The Essex was built in 1888 by Joel S. Webber, one of the principals in the firm of Beebe, Webber & Bo., woolen manufacturers at 639 Main Street. Frank Beebe, of the same firm, built The Maplewood in 1889-90, one block away from the Essex at the corner of Maple and Essex Streets. ...................Stan
I read your blog and I see you're looking for any info on this once beautiful building. My father lived in it for over 20 years and was living there when it caught on fire.That's when it closed for good It was a great place when he first moved into it. It was furnished with beautiful furniture. It contained old Oriental rugs, giant mirrors in the hallway that went from the floor to the ceiling. The apartments each had a fireplace and woodwork that went half way up the walls. The building was bigger then whats left now. There were several more doorways the went south on Chestnut St.
The Building was owned by an old woman when my father first moved in, then it was bought by a guy who didn't care about it and let it run into the ground. The plumbing became bad and the heat was horrible. In fact, the fire started when a young mother was trying to heat one room in her apartment with a hot plate as she had a young baby.