Springfield is a city in western New England, and the seat of Hampden
County, Massachusetts, United States. Springfield sits on the
eastern bank of the
Connecticut River near its confluence with three
rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and
the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population
was 153,060. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan
Massachusetts (the other being Greater Boston), had a
population of 692,942 as of 2010.
The first Springfield in the New World, it is the largest city in
western New England, and the urban, economic, and cultural capital of
Connecticut River Valley (colloquially known as the
Pioneer Valley). It is the third-largest city in
New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence.
Springfield has several nicknames – "The City of Firsts",
because of its many innovations (see below for a partial list); "The
City of Homes", due to its Victorian residential architecture; and
"Hoop City", as basketball – one of the world's most popular
sports – was invented in Springfield by James Naismith.
Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, lies 24 miles (39 km) south
of Springfield, on the western bank of the
Connecticut River. Bradley
International Airport, which sits 12 miles (19 km) south of Metro
Center Springfield, is Hartford-Springfield's airport. The
Hartford-Springfield region is known as the
Knowledge Corridor because
it hosts over 160,000 university students and over 32 universities and
liberal arts colleges – the second-highest concentration of
higher-learning institutions in the United States. The city of
Springfield itself is home to Springfield College, Western New England
University, American International College, and Springfield Technical
Community College, among other higher educational institutions.
4.1 Business headquarters
4.2 Companies headquartered in Springfield
4.3 Companies formerly in Springfield
5 Arts and culture
5.1 Amusement parks and fairs
5.6 Points of interest
9.1 City of Springfield
9.2 Judicial system
9.4 Switch to ward representation
10.1 Grade schools
10.1.1 Public schools (K–12)
10.1.2 Private schools
10.2 Higher education
10.2.1 Universities and colleges
10.2.2 Community colleges
11.2.1 Cable operators
13 Water and sewer system
14 Sister cities
15 Notable people
16 See also
17 Notes and references
18 Further reading
19 External links
View of Springfield, Massachusetts, on the
Connecticut River circa
1840-45, by Thomas Chambers, oil on canvas, as seen at the Springfield
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Main article: History of Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield was founded in 1636 by English Puritan
William Pynchon as
"Agawam Plantation" under the administration of the Connecticut
Colony. In 1641 it was renamed after Pynchon's hometown of
Springfield, Essex, England, following incidents that precipitated the
settlement joining the
Massachusetts Bay Colony. During its early
existence, Springfield flourished as both an agricultural settlement
and trading post, although its prosperity waned dramatically during
King Philip's War
King Philip's War in 1675, when natives laid siege to it
and burned it to the ground.
The original settlement – today's downtown Springfield –
was located atop bluffs at the confluence of four rivers, at the nexus
of trade routes to Boston,
Albany, New York
Albany, New York City, and Montreal, and
with some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil. In
1777, Springfield's location at numerous crossroads led George
Henry Knox to establish the United States' National
Armory at Springfield, which produced the first American musket in
1794, and later the famous Springfield rifle. From 1777 until its
closing during the Vietnam War, the
Springfield Armory attracted
skilled laborers to Springfield, making it the United States' longtime
center for precision manufacturing. The near-capture of the armory
Shays' Rebellion of 1787 led directly to the formation of the
U.S. Constitutional Convention.
Main Street in Springfield, 1908
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Springfielders produced many
innovations, including the first American-English dictionary (1805,
Merriam-Webster); the first use of interchangeable parts and the
assembly line in manufacturing (1819, Thomas Blanchard); the first
American horseless car (1825, Thomas Blanchard); the discovery and
patent of vulcanized rubber (1844, Charles Goodyear); the first
American gasoline-powered car (1893, Duryea Brothers); the first
successful motorcycle company (1901, "Indian"); one of America's first
commercial radio stations (1921, WBZ, broadcast from the Hotel
Kimball); and most famously, the world's second-most-popular sport,
basketball (1891, Dr. James Naismith).
Springfield underwent a protracted decline during the second half of
the 20th century, due largely to the decommissioning of the
Springfield Armory in 1969; poor city planning decisions, such as the
location of the elevated I-91 along the city's
front; and overall decline of industry throughout the northeastern
United States. During the 1980s and 1990s, Springfield developed a
national reputation for crime, political corruption and cronyism,
which stands in stark contrast to the reputation it enjoyed throughout
much of U.S. history. During the early 21st century, Springfield
sought to overcome its downgrade in reputation via long-term
revitalization projects and undertook several large but unfinished
projects, including a $1 billion high-speed rail line (New
Hartford-Springfield high-speed rail;) a proposed
$1 billion MGM casino; and various other construction and
Knowledge Corridor surrounding Springfield from space
Springfield is located at 42°6′45″N 72°32′51″W /
42.11250°N 72.54750°W / 42.11250; -72.54750 (42.112411,
−72.547455). According to the
United States Census Bureau, the
city has a total area of 33.1 square miles (85.7 km2), of which
31.9 square miles (82.5 km2) are land and 1.2 square miles
(3.1 km2), or 3.65%, are water. Once nicknamed "The City in a
Forest," Springfield features over 4.0 square miles (10.4 km2) of
urban parkland, 12% of its total land area.
Located in the fertile
Connecticut River Valley, surrounded by
mountains, bluffs, and rolling hills in all cardinal directions,
Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the
Connecticut River, near
its confluence with two major tributary rivers – the western
Westfield River, which flows into the
Springfield's South End Bridge; and the eastern Chicopee River, which
flows into the
Connecticut less than 0.5 miles (0.8 km) north of
Springfield, in the city of Chicopee (which constituted one of
Springfield's most populous neighborhoods until it separated and
became an independent municipality in 1852). The
line sits only 4 miles (6 km) south of Springfield, beside the
wealthy suburb of Longmeadow, which itself separated from Springfield
Springfield's densely urban Metro Center district surrounding Main
Street is relatively flat, and follows the north-south trajectory of
Connecticut River; however, as one moves eastward, the city
becomes increasingly hilly.
Aside from its rivers, Springfield's second most prominent
topographical feature is the city's 735-acre (297 ha) Forest
Park, designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Forest Park lies in the southwestern corner of the city, surrounded by
Springfield's attractive garden districts, Forest Park and Forest Park
Heights, which feature over 600 Victorian Painted Lady mansions.
Forest Park also borders Western Massachusetts' most affluent town,
Longmeadow. Springfield shares borders with other well-heeled suburbs
such as East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Ludlow and the de-industrializing
city of Chicopee. The small cities of Agawam and West Springfield lie
less than a mile (1.6 km) from Springfield's Metro Center, across
The City of Springfield also owns the Springfield Country Club,
located in the autonomous city of West Springfield, which separated
from Springfield in 1774.
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Springfield, like other cities in southern New England, has a humid
continental climate (Köppen: Dfa) with four distinct seasons and
precipitation evenly distributed throughout the year. Winters are cold
with a daily average in January of around 26 °F (−3 °C).
During winter, nor'easter storms can drop significant snowfalls on
Springfield and the
Connecticut River Valley. Temperatures below
0 °F (−18 °C) can occur each year, though the area does
not experience the high snowfall amounts and blustery wind averages of
nearby cities such as Worcester,
Massachusetts and Albany, New York.
Springfield's summers are very warm and sometimes humid. During
summer, several times per month, on hot days afternoon thunderstorms
will develop when unstable warm air collides with approaching cold
fronts. The daily average in July is around 74 °F (23 °C).
Usually several days during the summer exceed 90 °F
(32 °C), constituting a "heat wave." Spring and fall
temperatures are usually pleasant, with mild days and crisp, cool
Precipitation averages 46.7 inches (1,186 mm) annually,
and snowfall averages 49 inches (124 cm), most of which falls
from mid-December to early March. Although not unheard of, extreme
weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes occur infrequently in
Springfield compared with other areas in the country. On the occasions
that hurricanes have hit New England, Springfield's inland, upriver
location has caused its damages to be considerably less than shoreline
cities like New Haven,
Connecticut and Providence, Rhode Island.
On June 1, 2011, Springfield was directly struck by the second-largest
tornado ever to hit Massachusetts. With wind speeds exceeding
160 mph (257 km/h), the tornado left three dead, hundreds
injured, and over 500 homeless in the city alone. The tornado
caused hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage to Springfield
and destroyed nearly everything in a 39-mile (63 km) path from
Westfield to Charlton, Massachusetts. It was the first deadly
tornado to strike
Massachusetts since May 29, 1995.
Climate data for Bradley International Airport, Connecticut
(1981–2010 normals,[b] extremes 1905–present)[c]
Record high °F (°C)
Mean maximum °F (°C)
Average high °F (°C)
Daily mean °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Mean minimum °F (°C)
Record low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
Average snowfall inches (cm)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)
East Forest Park
For a more complete topographical description, see Springfield,
Springfield is divided into 17 distinct neighborhoods; in alphabetical
order, they are:
Bay – features Blunt Park. In terms of demographics, Bay is
primarily African American.
Boston Road – named for its proximity to the original Boston
Post Road system, features the Eastfield Mall. Primarily commercial in
character, it comprises several shopping plazas designed for
Brightwood – features numerous
Baystate Health specialty
buildings. Amputated from the rest of Springfield by the Interstate 91
elevated highway, academic suggestions are being made to reunite the
neighborhood with the city.
East Forest Park – Primarily upper-middle class residential in
character. Borders East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
East Springfield – features Smith & Wesson and the
Performance Food Group. Residential and working-class in character.
Forest Park – features Frederick Law Olmsted's renowned 735
acres (3.0 km2) Forest Park and the Forest Park Heights Historic
District, (established 1975). Residential in character, featuring
a commercial district at "The X" and an upper-class garden district
surrounding Olmsted's park.
Indian Orchard – features a well-defined Main Street and
historic mill buildings that have become artists' spaces. Formerly a
suburb of Springfield, Indian Orchard developed separately as a
milltown on the
Chicopee River before joining Springfield. Primarily
residential in character, Indian Orchard features Lake Lorraine State
Park, Hubbard Park, and weekly farmers markets.
Liberty Heights – features Springfield's three nationally
ranked hospitals: Baystate Health, Mercy Medical, and Shriner's
Children's Hospital. Primarily residential and medical in character,
it features a demographically diverse population. Liberty Heights
includes eclectic districts like Hungry Hill and Atwater Park, and
Springfield's 3rd largest park, Van Horn Park.
The McKnight Historic District – features the Knowledge
Corridor's largest array of historic, Victorian architecture,
including over 900 Painted Ladies. Primarily residential in character,
McKnight was the United States' first planned residential
neighborhood. McKnight's commercial district is called Mason
Square. Features American International College. In terms of
demographics, McKnight features significant populations of African
LGBT residents, and is home to Mason Square, named for
African American philanthropist Primus P. Mason.
Memorial Square – features the North End's commercial district.
Metro Center – features nearly all major cultural venues in the
region. Commercial, cultural, civic, and increasingly residential
in character. Features the Downtown Business District, The Club
Quarter – with over 60 clubs, restaurants, and bars –
numerous festivals, cultural institutions, educational institutions,
and significant historic sites.
North End – not technically a Springfield neighborhood, but
rather three northern Springfield neighborhoods. Includes Brightwood,
which is residential and medical in character, but cut off from the
rest of the city by Interstate 91; Memorial Square, which is
commercial in character; and Liberty Heights, which is medical and
residential in character. In terms of demographics, the North End is
predominantly Puerto Rican.
Old Hill – features Springfield College. Residential in
character. Bordering Lake Massasoit. Old Hill is primarily Latino.
Pine Point – features the headquarters of MassMutual, a Fortune
100 company. Primarily middle-class and residential in character.
Six Corners – features Mulberry Street in the Ridgewood
Historic District (established 1977;) the Lower Maple Historic
District (established 1977;) and the Maple Hill Historic District,
(established 1977). Urban and residential in character.
Sixteen Acres – features Western
New England University and
SABIS International School. Suburban in character. Includes much of
World War II
World War II suburban architecture.
South End – features numerous Italian-American restaurants,
festivals, and landmarks. Urban and commercial in character, this
neighborhood was hard hit by the June 1, 2011, tornado. Includes the
Basketball Hall of Fame; however, it is separated
from it by Interstate 91.
Upper Hill – features Wesson Park. Bordering Lake Massasoit.
Residential in character. Located between
Springfield College and
American International College.
: * population estimate.
According to the 2010 Census, Springfield had a population of 153,060,
of which 72,573 (47.4%) were male and 80,487 (52.6%) were female.
73.0% of the population were over 18 years old, and 10.9% were over 65
years old; the median age was 32.2 years. The median age for males was
30.2 years and 34.1 years for females.
According to the 2010 Census, there were 61,706 housing units in
Springfield, of which 56,752 were occupied. This was the highest
average of home occupancy among the four distinct Western New England
metropolises (the other three being Hartford, New Haven, and
Bridgeport, Connecticut). Also as of 2010, Springfield features the
highest average home owner occupancy ratio among the four Western New
England metropolises at 50% – 73,232 Springfielders live in
owner-occupied units, versus 74,111 in rental units. By comparison, as
of the 2010 Census,
New Haven features an owner occupancy rate of 31%;
Hartford of 26%; and Bridgeport of 43%.
In terms of race and ethnicity, Springfield is 51.8% White, 22.3%
Black or African American, 0.6% American Indian and Alaska Native,
2.4% Asian (1.2% Vietnamese, 0.3% Chinese, 0.2% Indian, 0.1%
Cambodian, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Korean, 0.1% Pakistani, 0.1% Laotian),
0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 18.0% from Some Other
Race, and 4.7% from Two or More Races (1.5% White and Black or African
American; 1.0% White and Some Other Race). Hispanics and Latinos of
any race made up 38.8% of the population (33.2% Puerto Rican, 1.7%
Dominican, 1.0% Mexican, 0.5% Guatemalan, 0.3% Cuban, 0.2% Colombian,
0.2% Spanish, 0.2% Salvadoran, 0.1% Peruvian, 0.1% Ecuadorian, 0.1%
Panamanian, 0.1% Costa Rican, 0.1% Honduran). Non-Hispanic Whites
were 36.7% of the population in 2010, down from 84.1% in 1970.
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
See also: List of
Massachusetts locations by per capita income
Data is from the 2009–2013 American Community Survey 5-Year
ZIP Code (ZCTA)
Gun maker Smith & Wesson is headquartered in Springfield.
Top City Employers
Source: MA Executive Office of Labor
and Workforce Development
Baystate Medical Center
Smith & Wesson
Mercy Medical Center
U.S. Postal Service
Big Y Foods
Massachusetts Trial Court
Springfield Police Dept.
American International College
Arrow Security Corp.
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Springfield's top five industries (in order, by number of workers)
are: Trade and Transportation; Education and Health Services;
Manufacturing; Tourism and Hospitality; and Government. Springfield is
considered to have a "mature economy," which protects the city to a
degree during recessions and inhibits it somewhat during bubbles.
Springfield is considered to have one of America's top emerging
multi-cultural markets – the city features a 33% Latino
population with buying power that has increased over 295% from 1990 to
2006. More than 60% of Hispanic Springfielders have arrived during the
past 20 years.
With 25 universities and colleges within a 15-mile (24 km) radius
from Springfield, including several of America's most prestigious
universities and liberal arts colleges, and more than six institutions
within the city itself, the
Hartford-Springfield metropolitan area has
been dubbed the
Knowledge Corridor by regional educators, civic
authorities, and businessmen – touting its 32 universities and
liberal arts colleges, numerous highly regarded hospitals, and nearly
120,000 students. The
Knowledge Corridor universities and colleges
provide the region with an educated workforce, which yields a yearly
GDP of over $100 billion – more than at least 16 U.S.
Hartford-Springfield has become home to a number of biotech
firms and high-speed computing centers. As of 2009 Springfield ranks
as the 24th most important high-tech center in the
United States with
approximately 14,000 high-tech jobs.
In 2010, the median household income was $35,236. Median income
for the family was $51,110. The per capita income was $16,863. About
21.3% of families and 26.8% of the population were below the poverty
line, including 40.0% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65
The City of Springfield is the economic center of Western
Massachusetts. It features the Pioneer Valley's largest concentration
of retail, manufacturing, entertainment, banking, legal, and medical
groups. Springfield is home to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts'
Fortune 100 company,
MassMutual Financial Group. It is also
home to the world's largest producer of handguns, Smith & Wesson,
founded in 1852. It is home to Merriam Webster, the first and most
widely read American-English dictionary, founded in 1806. It also
serves as the headquarters of the professional American Hockey League,
the NHL's minor league, Peter Pan Bus, and
Big Y Supermarkets, among
Springfield is also home to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' third
largest employer, Baystate Health, with over 10,000 employees.
Baystate is the western campus of Tufts University School of
Baystate Health is in the midst of a $300 million
addition – nicknamed "The Hospital of the Future," it is the
largest construction project in New England. In addition to
Baystate, Springfield features two other nationally ranked hospitals;
Mercy Medical, run by The Sisters of Providence, and Shriners Hospital
Companies headquartered in Springfield
American Hockey League
American Hockey League – the primary development league for the
Baystate Health – Largest employer and healthcare provider in
Western Massachusetts; 3rd largest employer in Massachusetts,
constructing the $300 million "Hospital of the Future."
Big Y – a regional supermarket chain that was founded in nearby
Chicopee, but is now headquartered in Springfield.
Big Y operates more
than 50 supermarkets throughout
Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Breck Shampoo – Founded in Springfield in 1936.
Fenton's Athletic Supplies – Sporting goods provider founded in
Hampden Bank – Founded in Springfield in 1852. Headquartered in
Health New England
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company – Founded in 1851.
MassMutual is the second largest
Fortune 100 company based in
Massachusetts (2010 list). The corporate headquarters are on State
Merriam-Webster – Publisher of the original Webster
NuVo Bank – Founded in 2008. Headquartered in Springfield.
Peter Pan Bus
Peter Pan Bus Lines – Headquartered in Metro Center, Peter Pan
is moving its Springfield terminal and operations to Union Station as
renovations are completed throughout 2017.
Smith & Wesson – Founded in 1852, Smith & Wesson is
America's largest producer of handguns. The company maintains its
corporate headquarters on Roosevelt Avenue in East Springfield.
Companies formerly in Springfield
Forbes & Wallace – Regional department store, closed in
Friendly Ice Cream Corporation – Founded in Springfield,
headquartered in the Springfield suburb of Wilbraham, Massachusetts.
Good Housekeeping Magazine – Founded in Springfield in 1885.
Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company – America's first
motorcycle brand, was founded by George M. Hendee and C. Oscar
Hedström in Springfield in 1901
Milton Bradley Company – American game company established in
1860. Headquartered in Springfield until its relocation to suburban
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
M-1 Rifle – productions started in 1919
Monarch Insurance – went bankrupt while constructing
Springfield's tallest skyscraper, Monarch Place.
Rolls-Royce – Rolls-Royce of America Inc. was formed in 1919 to
meet the growing U.S. luxury car market. A manufacturing plant was set
up on Hendee Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the former
'American Wire Wheel Company' building. Over the years, the factory's
1,200 employees produced 1,703 Silver Ghosts and 1,241 Phantoms, with
the first Silver Ghost chassis finished in 1921. The 1929 stock market
crash led to the plant's closure in 1931. Springfield is the only
place outside Britain where Rolls-Royce luxury cars have ever been
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts – founded in Springfield in 1937
with the purchase of The Stonehaven Hotel, and later the famous Hotel
Springfield Armory – Founded by
George Washington in 1777;
closed by the Pentagon in 1968.
Arts and culture
New England sits on the
Connecticut River across from
Springfield's South End
Amusement parks and fairs
Within two miles (3 km) of Springfield are New England's largest
and most popular amusement park, Six Flags New England, and its
largest and most popular fair, The Big E. Six Flags New England,
located across Springfield's South End Bridge in Agawam features
Superman the Ride, a roller coaster that has ranked first or second
every year since 2001 in the annual Golden Ticket Awards publication
by Amusement Today. Six Flags
New England also features a large water
park, kid's rides, and an outdoor concert stadium, among numerous
other attractions. It opens in mid-April and closes at the end of
Eastern States Exposition
Eastern States Exposition ("The Big E") is located across
Springfield's Memorial Bridge in West Springfield.
The Big E
The Big E serves as
New England states' collective state fair.
The Big E
The Big E is currently
the sixth largest agricultural fair in America and brings in thousands
of tourists each September–October.
The Big E
The Big E features rides,
carnival food, music, and replicas of each of the six New England
state houses, each of which is owned by its respective New England
state. During the Big E, these state houses serve as consulates for
New England states, and also serve food for which the states
Hoop City Jazz Festival: an annual event sponsored by the
Springfield-headquartered Hampden Bank, which in the past has featured
Springfield native and jazz legend Taj Mahal, the Average White Band,
and others. In 2011 the Hoop City Jazz Festival took place July 8–10
on Court Square, featuring a jazz tribute to the City of New Orleans.
Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend: a week of events that
culminates in the
Basketball Hall of Fame's enshrinement ceremony. It
features numerous VIP galas, awards dinners, and press
conferences. Enshrinement takes place in Springfield's
Neo-Classical Symphony Hall on Court Square. In 2011, Enshrinement
Weekend will take place August 11–13.
Armory Big Band Concerts: annually each summer the Springfield Armory
National Park and National Historic Site features 1940s big band
concerts. The band dresses in period costumes, and free dance lessons
are provided. In 2011, an Armory Big Band Concert will be held on July
Springfield Gay Pride Week: Springfield celebrated its first gay pride
event June 8–16, 2011. Events range from political roundtables, to
film showings, to celebrations at local gay clubs. According to 2010
Census statistics, Springfield has experienced a dramatic rise in its
LGBT population during the last decade, and this celebration is aimed
at increasing the visibility and voice of the
LGBT community and its
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society Festival: in Springfield's Italian
South End, it is long-running tradition to celebrate Italian Feast
Days, in particular during the summer. The largest of these festivals
is the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society festival, which features a
parade, and numerous food stands offering all sorts of Italian foods,
e.g. fried dough, pasta with meatballs or sausages, sausage and
peppers, meatball and steak grinders, and sugar cones, cotton candy,
candy apples and gelato. The festival takes place each year in
Stearns Square Concert Series and Bike Nights: annually from June
through September on Thursday evenings from 7 to 10pm, Springfield
sponsors free live music at Stearns Square, in the heart of Metro
Center's Club Quarter. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of
motorcyclists attend Bike Nights, which coincide with the Stearns
Mattoon Street Arts Festival: one of the largest annual art festivals
in Springfield. In 2011, it will feature a record number of exhibitors
when it takes place from September 10–11, 2011 in the Mattoon Street
Historic District. The art festival takes place at the corner of
Mattoon and Chestnut Streets, near the Apremont Triangle and Kimball
Towers Luxury Condominiums.
Jewish Film Festival: each spring the Pioneer Valley
Jewish Film Festival presents two weeks of films, renowned guest
speakers, and events related to
Jewish culture. In 2011, the festival
took place from March 23 – April 11.
St. Patrick's Day Parade: 7 miles (11 km) north of Springfield's
Metro Center, the small city of Holyoke, Massachusetts, stages the
United States' 2nd-largest, annual St. Patrick's Day Parade (larger
than Boston's and Chicago's, but slightly smaller than New York
City's). In 2011, Holyoke's St. Patrick's Day Parade attracted over
World's Largest Pancake Breakfast: annually, near the city's founding
date (May 14) Springfield attempts to break the Guinness Book of World
Records' mark for largest number of pancakes served. 2011's event drew
over 30,000 people to Main Street, where approximately 60,000 pancakes
Star Spangled Springfield: annually on July 4, Springfield stages an
evening of patriotism, pageantry and pyrotechnics. The evening begins
Court Square with a patriotic concert by the Springfield Symphony
Orchestra and concludes with an elaborate fireworks display from the
Memorial Bridge. Numerous hills and bluffs in Springfield afford views
of the fireworks.
Caribbean Festival: in general held in late August each year,
Springfield's Caribbean Festival celebrates the culture of the West
Indies, which has increased greatly in Springfield during recent
years. Highlights of the festival include a parade, dancers, floats,
Caribbean music, and even a fashion show celebrating traditional
The Parade of Big Balloons: since 1991, the Parade of Big Balloons has
helped to usher in the holiday season in Springfield. A 75-foot
(23 m) inflatable "Cat in the Hat" and a dozen or more big
balloons, bands, and colorful marching contingents parade through
Springfield's Metro Center at 11 am on the day after
Thanksgiving. The Parade of Big Balloons starts in the city's North
End and make its way down Main Street to the South End, entertaining
crowds estimated at 75,000. In general, this parade is broadcast by
local TV and radio affiliates.
Bright Nights: during the holiday season, over 600,000 lights
illuminate a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) driving tour of Frederick Law
Olmsted's Forest Park. Since its inception in the 1990s, the event has
become a national attraction. From the new "Poinsettia Fantasy" entry
to the giant Poinsettia Candles marking the exit, passengers in cars,
vans, buses and campers drive by and through lighting displays
including "Seuss Land," a display approved by the estate of Dr. Seuss,
"Spirit of the Season," "Noah's Ark," "Victorian Village," "Barney
Mansion," "Winter Woods," "North Pole Village," "Toy Land," and
Springfield is home to five distinct museums at the Quadrangle, along
with the ornate Springfield Public Library – an architecturally
significant example of the
City Beautiful movement. The Quadrangle's
five distinct collections include the first American-made planetarium,
designed and built (1937) by Frank Korkosz; the Dr Seuss National
Memorial Sculpture Garden; the largest collection of Chinese cloisonne
outside of China; and the original casting of Augustus Saint Gaudens's
most famous sculpture, Puritan.
The Quadrangle's five museums are the Museum of Fine Arts, which
features a large
Impressionist collection; the George Walter Vincent
Smith Art Museum, a collection of Asian curiosities; the Springfield
Science Museum, which features a life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex, and
aquarium, and the United States' first planetarium; the Connecticut
Valley Historical Museum, which, as visitors find out, is inextricably
linked with American History; and the Museum of Springfield History, a
museum about the multi-faceted city.
Springfield's Indian Orchard neighborhood is home to the RMS Titanic
Historical Society's Titanic Museum. Unlike Springfield's urban
Quadrangle museums, the setting for Indian Orchard's Titanic Museum
looks like 1950s suburbia. Inside 208 Main Street is displayed a
collection of rare artifacts that tell stories about the ill-fated
ocean liner's passengers and crew.
Classical music aficionados hold the progressive Springfield Symphony
Orchestra in high esteem. The
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Springfield Symphony Orchestra performs
in Springfield Symphony Hall, a venue known for its ornate, Greek
Revival architecture and "perfect acoustics." The SSO's conductor is
Famous musicians from Springfield include blues legend Taj Mahal; the
Staind and its frontman Aaron Lewis; Linda Perry, former leader
4 Non Blondes and now famous songwriter and producer; Taj
Mahal's sister, Carole Fredericks, a soul singer very popular in
France; numerous jazz musicians, including Joe Morello, drummer for
the Dave Brubeck Quartet; Phil Woods, saxophonist for Quincy Jones;
Tony MacAlpine, keyboardist and guitarist with Steve Vai; and Paul
Weston, composer for Frank Sinatra, among many others.
In 2011, Springfield's music scene was eclectic. It featured a notable
heavy rock scene, from which the bands Gaiah, Staind, All That
Remains, Shadows Fall, and
The Acacia Strain
The Acacia Strain rose to national
prominence. Jazz and blues rival rock in popularity. Each summer, the
Hampden Bank sponsors the annual Hoops City
Jazz & Art Festival, a three-day event that draws approximately
30,000 people to Metro Center to hear varieties of different jazz
music – from smooth jazz, to hard bop, to New Orleans-style
jazz. Headliners have included Springfield great Taj Mahal, the
Average White Band, and Poncho Sanchez.
Fifteen miles north in the college towns of Northampton and Amherst,
there is an active independent and alternative rock scene. Many of
these bands perform regularly in Springfield's Club Quarter, at venues
such as Fat Cats Bar & Grille, Theodore's, and the restored
Paramount Theater. In the Club Quarter, centered on Stearns Square,
nightly offerings include blues, college rock, jazz, indie, hip-hop,
jam band, Latin, hard rock, pop, metal, karaoke, piano bars, and DJs.
Each Thursday during the summer, a free concert is held at Stearns
Square to coincide with Bike Night, a happening that in general
attracts thousands of motorcyclists to the Quarter and thousands more
spectators to hear live music.
Larger rock and hip-hop acts play at the 7,000-seat
The arena has played host to artists such as Marilyn Manson, Alice
Cooper, Nirvana, David Bowie, David Lee Roth, Poison, Pearl Jam, and
See also: Club Quarter
Club Quarter is the nightlife capital of the Pioneer
Valley and the Knowledge Corridor, featuring approximately 60 dance
clubs, bars, music venues,
LGBT venues, and after-hours
establishments. In general, most clubs, bars, music venues, and other
nightspots are located on or near upper Worthington Street, on and
around Stearns Square, or on Chestnut Street.
Club Quarter features a large (and growing) LGBT
nightlife scene at establishments like Oz (397 Dwight Street), Pure
(324 Chestnut Street), The Pub Lounge (382 Dwight Street), and Club
Xtatic (240 Chesnut Street, featuring dancers). In 2011,
The Advocate ranked Springfield No. 13 among its "New Gay American
Cities," ahead of San Diego and Albuquerque, New Mexico. There has
been a notable increase in Springfield's
LGBT nightlife since
Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004.
Points of interest
The Big E
The Big E is New England's collective state fair. On the Avenue of the
States, each of the six
New England States owns its own plot of land
and replica State House.
Basketball Hall of Fame – housed in a $47 million
structure designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, it is a shrine
to the world's second most popular sport, basketball. Located in the
city where basketball was invented, the facility – built beside
Connecticut River – spans 80,000 square feet
(7,400 m2) features numerous restaurants and the
However, it is separated from Springfield's Metro Center by the 8-lane
highway, Interstate 91.
The Big E – also known as The Eastern States Exposition, it is
New England's collective, annual state fair. Held on a permanent
fairgrounds approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of
Springfield's Metro Center, across the ornate Memorial Bridge in West
Springfield, it attracts more than 1 million visitors per year
during its 14- to 17-day run beginning in mid-September.
Bright Nights – during the holiday season, Forest Park hosts a
nationally renowned, 2+ mile, state-of-the-art lighting extravaganza.
Year over year, the numerous lighting displays become creative and
City Stage – Springfield's best-known playhouse features
off-Broadway productions, comedians, and children's programming.
Club Quarter – a grouping of 60 clubs, bars, and restaurants
around Stearns Square, Worthington and Main Streets. Springfield's
variety of nightclubs and entertainment is part of what makes it,
according to Yahoo!, one of America's ten best cities for dating.
LGBT and dance clubs are integrated with hip-hop, rock, jazz, and
blues clubs. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are particularly busy
Connecticut River Walk Park – a landscaped park that snakes
Connecticut River, affording views of the Mount Tom Range,
Mount Holyoke Range, and Springfield's skyline. However, this park is
separated from Springfield by the badly designed, 8-lane Interstate 91
highway, which cuts through three Springfield riverfront
neighborhoods, and thus presents a major obstacle to accessing this
riverfront park. In 2010, the
Urban Land Institute
Urban Land Institute released a plan for
Springfield's riverfront, which has given Springfielders cause for
Interstate 91 will either be moved or made more easily
passable via new design features that would allow people to access the
River Walk and the
Basketball Hall of Fame.
Court Square – a park, referred to as "Springfield's front
door," it remains the city's only topographical constant since its
founding in 1636. Located on Main Street and surrounded by ornate
architecture, including the iconic Springfield Municipal Group, Court
Square is the civic heart of Springfield. Until the 1960s, Court
Square extended to the
Connecticut River; however, as with Olmsted's
Forest Park, its connection to the river was severed by the building
Interstate 91 elevated highway.
Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden – amidst the
Quadrangle, there are large, bronze statues of characters from
Springfield native Dr. Seuss's books.
First Game of
Basketball Sculpture – located directly on the
site of the first game of basketball, this illuminated sculpture in
Mason Square commercial district has become a site of
pilgrimage for basketball fans from around the world.
Forest Park – designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned
landscape designer of New York City's Central Park, Springfield's
Forest Park is nearly the same size as
Central Park at 735 acres
(297.4 ha). It features the Zoo at Forest Park; the 31 acres
(12.5 ha) Porter Lake; numerous playgrounds; a formal rose
garden; 38 tennis courts; a skating arena; numerous basketball and
bocce courts; lawn bowling fields; Victorian promenades and water
gardens; tree groves; baseball diamonds; numerous statues; an aquatic
park; and the Barney Carriage House, where many weddings take place.
King Philip's Stockade – an historic, city park where in 1675,
the Pocumtuc Indians – organized by Chief Metacomet, also known
as King Philip – initiated the
Attack on Springfield
Attack on Springfield during
King Philip's War. During the attack, approximately 75% of the city
MassMutual Center – formerly known as the Springfield Civic
Center, this 8,000-seat arena and convention center received a
$71 million renovation in 2003–2005. Located across from
Court Square in Metro Center, the arena houses the American
Hockey League's Springfield Thunderbirds. The venue also attracts
big-name concert tours. In the past, it has hosted concerts by
Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Van Halen, Marilyn Manson, The Eagles, and Bob
Dylan, among many others.
Mulberry Street – the street featuring the house that inspired
Dr. Seuss's first children's book, the classic And to Think That I Saw
It on Mulberry Street.
The Puritan – a famous statue designed by Augustus
Saint-Gaudens depicting Deacon Samuel Chapin, an early settler of
Springfield. "The Puritan" is perhaps St. Gaudens' most celebrated,
outdoor sculpture. Originally located in Stearns Square, it has been
located in Merrick Park in the Quadrangle for over 100 years and
become a symbol of Springfield.
The Quadrangle – a campus of five museums surrounding the Dr.
Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, is an extraordinary cultural
grouping – especially considering Springfield's medium-size
population and small land area. It includes the world-class Museum of
Fine Arts, known for its
Impressionist and Dutch Renaissance
collections, as well as its extensive collection of American masters,
including works by Springfielder James McNeill Whistler. The
Springfield Science Museum
Springfield Science Museum features the United States'
first planetarium (built 1931), and a large dinosaur exhibit. The
world-class George Walter Vincent Smith Museum is known worldwide for
housing the largest collection of Chinese cloisonne outside of China;
it also features exotic curiosities like Asian suits of armor, and a
collection of marble busts. The Quadrangle also features two regional
history museums: the
Connecticut Valley Historical Society, which
tells the story of "The Great River" and its people, and the new
Museum of Springfield History, which showcases the innovations that
make Springfield "The City of Progress" during the abolitionist period
and Industrial Revolution, which includes the first American-English
dictionary, the first gasoline-powered car, the first successful
motorcycle company, the first modern fire engine, and dozens of other
firsts (see below for a more complete list).
St. John's Congregational Church – founded in 1844 as the
Sanford Street "Free Church," St. John's Congregational Church is a
predominately black church that played a pivotal role in the
abolitionist movement. While living in Springfield, John Brown
attended services here from 1846 to 1850, and as of 2011, the church
still displays John Brown's Bible. It was at this church where John
Brown met Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and other prominent
abolitionists – and where he later founded the famous, militant
League of Gileadites in response to the Fugitive Slave Act. As of
2011, St. John's remains one of the most prominent, predominately
black congregations in the Northeastern United States.
St. Michael's Cathedral – beside the Quadrangle, this elegant
Catholic Church is the seat of the Diocese of Greater Springfield.
Stacy Building – the location where, in 1892–93, the Duryea
Brothers built the first, American, gasoline-powered car, which in
1895 won the first automobile race in Chicago, Illinois. A model of
the Duryea Brothers' first car sits in a tree-shaded park beside the
historic location, amidst the restaurants and bars of the Club
Six Flags New England – located 1 mile (1.6 km) west of
Springfield's South End in Agawam, this amusement park is the largest
in the Northeast and features a top-ranked roller coaster, Superman
Springfield Armory National Historic Site – founded by
George Washington and
Henry Knox in 1777; the site of Shays'
Rebellion in 1787, which led directly to the U.S. Constitutional
Convention; the site of numerous technological innovations including
the manufacturing advances known as interchangeable parts, the
assembly line, and mass production; and the producer of the United
States Military's firearms from 1794 to 1968, when the Armory was
controversially shut down by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. Today,
it is a National Historic Site, and features a museum that includes
one of the world's largest collections of firearms.
Springfield Cemetery - opened in 1841 and located in the heart of the
city, it is designed in the scenic rural cemetery tradition. The
cemetery is the final resting place of many pioneer settlers and noted
individuals from Springfield and the region.
Symphony Hall – dedicated in 1913 by President William Howard
Taft as part of the Springfield Municipal Group, Springfield Symphony
Hall features "perfect acoustics." It is home to the progressive
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Springfield Symphony Orchestra conducted by showman Kevin Rhodes, and
also hosts numerous Broadway touring productions.
Stearns Square – designed by the renowned artistic team of
Stanford White and
Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1897, this small park is
the center of Springfield's Club Quarter. It features ornate
architectural and sculptural details from the original team's design;
however, most of those were meant to accompany The Puritan, and thus
moved to storage.
Stearns Square hosts a large motorcycle gathering
each Thursday evening, and is the site of a summer concert series.
MassMutual Center in 2013
Besides Springfield's historic connection with basketball, the city
has a rich sporting history. Volleyball was invented in the adjacent
city of Holyoke, and the first exhibition match was held in 1896 at
the International YMCA Training School, now known as Springfield
Ice hockey has been played professionally in Springfield since the
1920s, and Springfield is home to the league headquarters of the
American Hockey League. The
Springfield Indians of the American Hockey
League (now located in Utica, New York) was the oldest minor league
hockey franchise in existence. In 1994 the team relocated to Worcester
and was replaced by the Springfield Falcons, who played at the
MassMutual Center. The Falcons were then replaced by the Springfield
Thunderbirds in 2016. For parts of two seasons (1978–80) the NHL
Hartford Whalers played in Springfield while their arena was
undergoing repairs after a roof collapse. On the amateur level, the
Junior A Springfield Olympics played for many years at the Olympia,
while American International College's Yellow Jackets compete in NCAA
Division I hockey.
Basketball remains a popular sport in Springfield's sporting
landscape. Prior to the 2014–15 season, Springfield was home to the
Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, which began play in
2009 at the
MassMutual Center. Beginning in the 2011–12 season, the
Armor was the exclusive affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. For many
years, the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic has been the semi-official
start to the college basketball season, and the
NCAA Division II
championships are usually held in Springfield. The Metro Atlantic
Athletic Conference will play its championships in Springfield from
2012 to 2014. The
New England Blizzard of the ABL played its first
game in Springfield, and several minor pro men's and women's teams
have called the city home, including the Springfield Fame of the
Basketball League (the league's inaugural champion in
1985) and the Springfield Hall of Famers of the Eastern Professional
Springfield has had professional baseball in the past, and according
to its current mayor, remains intent on pursuing it in the future.
Springfield Giants of the Single– and Double-A Eastern League
played between 1957 and 1965. The team was quite successful, winning
consecutive championships in 1959, 1960 and 1961, by startling
coincidence the same seasons in which the
Springfield Indians won
Calder Cup championships in hockey. The Giants played
at Pynchon Park by the
Connecticut River until relocating after the
1965 season. Pynchon Park's grandstands were destroyed by fire the
year after in 1966. Before that time, the
Springfield Cubs played
in the minor league
New England League from 1946 until 1949, after
which the league folded; they then played in the International League
until 1953. For many years before the Giants, Springfield was also a
member of the Eastern League, between 1893 and 1943. In general, the
team was named the Ponies, but it also carried the nicknames of
"Maroons" (1895), "Green Sox" (1917), "Hampdens" (1920–21), "Rifles
(1932, 1942–43) and "Nationals" (1939–41). The team located
closest are the
Valley Blue Sox
Valley Blue Sox of the
New England Collegiate Baseball
League who play their games in nearby Holyoke, but house their team
offices at 100 Congress Street in Springfield.
Springfield has an official roller derby team: Pair O Dice City Roller
Derby. They are a non-profit organization who uses their roller derby
games as fundraisers for groups such as Dakin Animal Shelter and the
See also: List of tallest buildings in Springfield, Massachusetts
Victorian-era rowhouses on Mattoon Street
In addition to its nickname The City of Firsts, Springfield is known
as The City of Homes for its attractive architecture, which
differentiates it from most medium-size, Northeastern American cities.
Most of Springfield's housing stock consists of Victorian "Painted
Ladies" (similar to those found in San Francisco;) however,
Springfield also features
Gilded Age mansions, urban condominiums
buildings, brick apartment blocks, and more suburban post-World War II
architecture (in the Sixteen Acres and Pine Point neighborhoods).
While Springfield's architecture is attractive, much of its
built-environment stems from the 19th and early 20th centuries when
the city experienced a period of "intense and concentrated
prosperity" – today, its
Victorian architecture can be found in
various states of rehabilitation and disrepair. As of 2011,
Springfield's housing prices are considerably lower than nearby New
England cities that do not feature such intricate architecture.
Unity Church (built 1866–1869), the first commission of noted
architect H.H. Richardson, was demolished in 1961.
In Metro Center, some of Springfield's former hotels, factories, and
other institutions have been converted into apartment buildings and
luxury condominiums. For example, Springfield's ornate Classical High
School (235 State Street), with its immense Victorian atrium –
where Dr. Seuss, Timothy Leary, and Taj Mahal all went to high
school – is now a luxury condominium building. The Hotel
Kimball, (140 Chestnut Street), which hosted several U.S. Presidents
as guests and once featured the United States' first commercial radio
station (WBZ), has been converted into The Kimball Towers
Condominiums. The former McIntosh Shoe Company (158 Chestnut
Street), one of Springfield's finest examples of the Chicago School of
Architecture, has been converted into industrial-style condominiums;
and the red-brick, former
Milton Bradley toy factory is now
Stockbridge Court Apartments (45 Willow Street). In the Ridgewood
Historic District, the 1950s-futurist Mulberry House (101 Mulberry
Street), is now a condominium building that features some of the
finest views of Springfield.
Forest Park (and Forest Park Heights), surrounding Frederick Law
Olmsted's beautiful 735 acres (297.4 ha) Forest Park, is a New
England Garden District that features over 600 Victorian Painted
Ladies. The McKnight National Historic District, America's first
planned residential neighborhood, (1881), features over 900 Victorian
Painted Ladies, many of which have been rehabilitated by Springfield's
LGBT community. The Old Hill, Upper Hill, and Bay
neighborhoods also feature this type of architecture.
Maple High, which is architecturally (and geographically) distinct
from, but often included with Springfield's economically depressed Six
Corners neighborhood, was Springfield's first "Gold Coast." Many
mansions from the early 19th century and later gilded age stand atop a
bluff on Maple Street, overlooking the
Connecticut River. The
Ridgewood Historic district on Ridgewood and Mulberry Streets also
feature historic mansions from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Springfield – like many mid-size Northeastern cities, e.g.,
Hartford, Albany, and New Haven – from the 1950s–1970s, razed
a significant number of historic commercial buildings in the name of
urban renewal. In 1961, this included Unity Church, the first building
designed by the young Henry Hobson Richardson. Springfield's Metro
Center remains more aesthetically cohesive than many its peer cities;
however, as elsewhere, the city currently features a patchwork of
parking-lots and grand old buildings. Current efforts are underway to
improve the cohesion of Springfield's Metro Center, including the
completed Main Street and State Street Corridor improvement projects,
the upcoming $70 million renovation to Springfield's 1926 Union
Station and the renovation of the Epiphany Tower on State Street into
a new hotel. New constructions include the architecturally
award-winning, $57 million Moshe Safdie-designed Federal Building
on State Street.
Forest Park – one of the largest urban parks in the United
States – designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
In 2010, Springfield was cited as the 4th "Greenest City" in the
United States – the largest city cited in the Top 10. The
recognition noted Springfield's numerous parks, the purity of its
drinking water, its regional recycling center, and organizations like
ReStore Home Improvement Center, which salvages building
materials. Springfield features over 2,400 acres (10 km2) of
parkland distributed among 35 urban parks, including the grand, 735
acres (297.4 ha) Forest Park. Well-known parks include the
following, among others:
Apremont Triangle Park is a triangular, pocket park in front of
Kimball Towers in Metro Center. Named for
Springfield's 104th Infantry Regiment, which following the World War I
Battle of Apremont, became the first U.S. military unit awarded for
heroism by a foreign power, receiving France's highest military honor:
the croix de guerre for bravery in combat. The same Springfield unit
received the same honor again in World War II. Apremont Triangle Park,
steps from both the bohemian
Kimball Towers and upper-class
Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District
Quadrangle-Mattoon Street Historic District offers a place to sit
amidst the restaurants on the northern fringe of the Club Quarter.
Armoury Commons is a rectangular park just south of the Springfield
Armory, located at the corner of Pearl and Spring Streets in Metro
Center. Renovated in 2009, Armoury Commons features several
sculptures, including Pynchon Park's original sculpture. The park is
often used as a place to play chess and other games.
Connecticut River Walk Park is a narrow, landscaped park that snakes
along the scenic
Connecticut River for several miles. Beginning near
Basketball Hall of Fame, it features jogging trails, benches, boat
docks, and plazas – all of which afford scenic vistas of the
Connecticut River and
Connecticut River Valley. However, Interstate
91's position, height, and ancillary structures – including a
1756-car, below-grade parking lot, (the largest in the city, ) and
20-foot (6 m) stone walls block all views of the Connecticut
River, and all but three passages to the park from Metro Center.
Despite Springfield's rating as one of the most walkable cities in the
U.S., due to the poor planning of I-91, this park can be difficult to
reach on foot.
Court Square has been Springfield's one topographical constant since
colonial days – it is located in Metro Center. Featuring
monuments to Springfield's hero during
King Philip's War
King Philip's War of 1675,
Miles Morgan; President William McKinley; and a Civil War memorial
Court Square is surrounded by extraordinarily fine architecture,
including H.H. Richardson's
Richardsonian Romanesque Courthouse; the
Springfield Municipal Group
Springfield Municipal Group featuring the
Greek Revival City Hall,
Symphony Hall, and the 300-foot (91 m)
Italianate Campanile; and
also the 1819 reconstruction of the 1638 Old First Church. Other
buildings included are the One Financial Plaza skyscraper, UMass
Amherst's Urban Design Studio in the Byers Block (b. 1835;) and,
across Main Street, the
MassMutual Center arena and convention center.
Five Mile Pond is a Naturalist park and pond approximately 5 miles
(8 km) from Springfield's Metro Center in the Pine Point
neighborhood of Springfield. There are several, glacial lakes in the
Five Mile Pond area, including Lake Lorraine, Loon Pond, and Long
Pond. Five Mile Pond is popular with boaters.
Forest Park is one of the United States' largest urban parks (at 735
acres (297.4 ha)) and also one of its most historically important
urban parks. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted – the famed
designer of New York City's Central Park – Forest Park is
nearly as large, and similarly diverse. Amenities include the Zoo at
Forest Park, which features many exotic animals; the United States'
first public swimming pool (1899;) numerous playgrounds; an
ice-skating rink; a formal rose garden; the 31 acres (12.5 ha)
Porter Lake, which features fishing and paddle-boating; 38 tennis
courts; numerous basketball and bocce courts; lawn bowling fields;
Victorian promenades and water gardens; dozens of hiking and walking
trails; an aquatic park; numerous sculptures; and the Carriage House
of Springfielder Everett Hosmer Barney, the man who invented the ice
skate and popularized the roller skate during the 19th century. During
the holiday season, Forest Park hosts the nationally renowned lighting
display, "Bright Nights."
King Philip's Stockade is an historic park, famous as the site where
Native Americans organized the 1675 Sack of Springfield; The Stockade
features numerous picnic pavilions, excellent views of the Connecticut
River Valley, and a sculpture of The Windsor Indian, who tried in vain
to warn the residents of Springfield of coming danger.
Leonardo da Vinci Park is a small greenspace (0.4 acres), located in
the historically Italian South End of Springfield. It features
ornamental perimeter fencing surrounding a playground. Leonardo da
Vinci Park was renovated in 2009 and now features new picnic tables
and playground equipment.
Pynchon Park is an architecturally interesting brutalist-style city
park, which was dedicated in 1977. It links Springfield's Metro Center
with the Quadrangle cultural grouping, (the museums and sculptures sit
atop a steep bluff). Mostly made of poured concrete, but featuring a
waterfall, lush greenery, and fountains, Pynchon Park received
numerous accolades from the American Institute of Architecture for
"enhancing the quality of the urban environment in the core of the
city." It features two levels and a distinctive elevator.
Stearns Square is a rectangular park between Worthington Street and
Bridge Street in Springfield's Club Quarter, located in Metro Center.
Designed by the creative 'dream-team' of
Stanford White and Augustus
Saint-Gaudens. It was there that St. Gaudens' most famous work, The
Puritan, originally stood. The Puritan has since been moved to the
Quadrangle, at the corner of State and Chestnut Streets; however,
White's and St. Gaudens' original fountain, bench, and turtle
sculptures, all meant to compliment The Puritan, remain in Stearns
Van Horn Park
Van Horn Park is a large park in the Hungry Hill section of Liberty
Heights in Springfield. It features two ponds and a reservoir. The
Reservoir and lower dam are not generally accessible to the public.
The Main Entrance is on Armory Street near Chapin Terrace.
City of Springfield
Springfield City Hall and its campanile, built in the Classical
Revival style, were completed in 1913 and christened by former
President William Howard Taft.
Springfield employs a strong-mayor form of city government.
Springfield's mayor is Domenic J. Sarno, who has been serving since
The city's governmental bureaucracy consists of 33 departments, which
administer a wide array of municipal services, e.g. police, fire,
public works, parks, public health, housing, economic development, and
the Springfield Public School System, New England's 2nd largest public
Springfield's legislative body is its City Council, which features a
mix of eight ward representatives—even though the city has more than
double that number of neighborhoods, resulting in several incongruous
"wards"—and five at-large city representatives, several of whom have
served for well over a decade.
Springfield Fire Department
Springfield Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency
medical services to the city and holds the distinction of being one of
the oldest established fire departments in the United States.
In 2003, the City of Springfield was on the brink of financial
default, and thus taken over by a Commonwealth-appointed Finance
Control Board until 2009. Disbanded in June of that year, the Control
Board made great strides stabilizing Springfield's finances.
While Springfield has achieved balanced budgets since 2009, the city
has not enlarged its tax-base, and thus many of its public works
projects — which have been in the pipeline for years, some even
decades — remain unfinished, (e.g., repairs to Springfield's
landmark Campanile.). Springfield is being considered for a
$800 million development project; MGM Springfield. To many this
is an impressive feat given the natural disasters and continuous cuts
to state aide during the Great Recession.
MGM Springfield is currently underway. It's expected
to be completed and operational by the fall of 2018.
Building off of the work of the Control Board, the city's finances
have remained stable under Mayor Domenic J. Sarno's (2008–present)
despite the Great Recession and several natural and man made
disasters: June 1, 2011, tornado Springfield Tornado, Hurricane Irene,
a freak October Snow Storm (which in some ways was more damaging than
the tornado), and a large gas explosion in the downtown area in
2012. The city has recovered, however receiving a bond upgrade from
Standard and Poor's Investment Services and the GFOA's Distinguished
Budget Award for six consecutive years.
Like every other municipality in Massachusetts, Springfield has no
judicial branch itself. Rather, it uses the Springfield-based state
courts, which include Springfield district court and Hampden County
Superior Court, both of which are based in Springfield. The Federal
District Court also regularly hears cases in Springfield – now
in an architecturally award-winning building on State Street,
constructed in 2009.
See also: List of mayors of Springfield, Massachusetts
Springfield became a city on May 25, 1852, by decree of the
Massachusetts Legislature, after a decade-long internal dispute that
resulted in the partition of Chicopee from Springfield, and thus the
loss of 2/5 of the city's population.
Springfield, like all municipalities in Massachusetts, enjoys limited
home rule. The current city charter, in effect since 1959, uses a
"strong mayor" government with most power concentrated in the mayor,
Boston and elsewhere. The mayor representing the city's
executive branch presents the budget, appoints commissioners and
department heads, and in general runs the city. The Mayor is former
City Councilor Domenic Sarno, elected November 6, 2007, by a margin of
52.54% to 47.18% against incumbent Charles Ryan. He took office in
January 2008. In November 2009 and 2011, Sarno won reelection,
albeit — in the latter case — with just 22% of eligible
Springfield voters voting.
The Springfield City Council, consisting of thirteen members, is the
city's legislative branch. Elected every odd numbered year, eight of
its members are elected to represent "wards," which are made of
(sometimes incongruous) groupings of Springfield neighborhoods, e.g.
Springfield's ethnic North End neighborhoods — Memorial Square
and Brightwood — share a ward with Metro Center, Springfield's
downtown. Five city council members are elected at-large. The City
Council passes the city's budget, holds hearings, creates departments
and commissions, and amends zoning laws.
The mayor's office and city council chambers are located in city
hall – part of the Municipal Group in Metro Center,
Springfield. The Finance Control Board met there as well.
Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008
Number of Voters
Switch to ward representation
Springfield City Councilors 2016–2017
Thomas Ashe – At-Large
Justin J. Hurst – At-Large
Jesse L. Lederman – At-Large
Timothy J. Ryan – At-Large
Kateri Walsh – At-Large (Vice-Presidnet)
Adam Gomez –Ward 1
Michael Fenton – Ward 2
Melvin Edwards – Ward 3
E. Henry Twiggs – Ward 4
Marcus Williams – Ward 5
Kenneth Shea – Ward 6
Tim Allen – Ward 7
Orlando Ramos – Ward 8 (President)
In the past, efforts have been made to provide each of the city's
eight wards a seat in the city council, instead of the current
at-large format. There would still be some at-large seats under this
format. The primary argument for this has been that City Councilors
live in only four of the city's wards. An initiative to change the
composition failed to pass the
City Council twice. In 2007 Mayor
Charles V. Ryan and City Councilor Jose Tosado proposed a home-rule
amendment that would expand the council to thirteen members adding
four seats to the existing nine member at large system, but allocated
between eight ward and five at large seats. This home-rule petition
was adopted by the
City Council 8–1, and was later passed by the
State Senate and House and signed by the Governor. On election day,
November 6, 2007, city residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of
City Council and School Committee. The ballot initiative
that established a new council with five at-large seats and eight ward
seats passed 3–1. On November 3, 2009, Springfield held its first
ward elections in 50 years.
During the late 1990s and first decade of the 21st century,
Springfield experienced a wave of violent crime that negatively
impacted the city's reputation, both regionally and nationally. At one
point in the first decade of the 21st century, Springfield ranked as
high as 18th in the United States' annual "City Crime Rankings." Since
approximately 2006, the City of Springfield has experienced a
dramatic, (nearly 50%) drop-off in citywide crime. In
2010, Springfield ranked 35th in the United States' City Crime
Rankings – its 2nd lowest ranking in recent years, (in 2009, it
ranked 51st). Springfield's current crime rating of 142 is down
approximately 50% from its heights in the late 1990s and first decade
of the 21st century.
The cities of Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, both of which in
2007 were cited as "resurgent" cities that Springfield should seek to
emulate by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, are now by nearly all
statistical measures, significantly more dangerous than
New Haven currently ranks 18th in the annual U.S.
City Crime Rankings, and Hartford ranks 19th). The Urban Land
Institute states that currently "the perception of crime [in
Springfield] appears to be worse than the reality."
Public schools (K–12)
Springfield has the second largest school district in Massachusetts
and in New England. It operates 38 elementary schools, six high
schools, six middle schools (6–8) and seven specialized schools. The
main high schools in the city include the High School of Commerce,
Springfield Central High School, Roger L Putnam Vocational-Technical
High School, and the Springfield High School of Science and
Technology, better known as Sci-Tech. There are also two charter
secondary schools in the City of Springfield: SABIS International,
which ranks among the top 5% of high schools nationally in academic
quality, and the Hampden
Charter School of Science. The city's School
Committee[when?] passed a new neighborhood school program to improve
schools and reduce the growing busing costs associated with the
current plan. The plan faces stiff opposition from parents and
minority groups who claim that the schools are still unequal. The city
is required under a 1970s court order to balance schools racially,
which had necessitated busing. However, since then, the city and the
school's population has shifted and many of the neighborhoods are more
integrated, calling into question the need for busing at all. Though
the plan is likely to be challenged in court, the state Board of
Education decided it did not have authority to review it, sidestepping
the volatile issue while effectively condoning it.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield operated five Catholic
elementary schools in the city, all of which were consolidated into a
single entity, St. Michael's Academy, in the autumn of 2009. The
Pioneer Valley Christian School is located in the
suburban Sixteen Acres neighborhood, educating K–12. Non-sectarian
elementary schools within the City of Springfield include the Pioneer
Valley Montessori School in Springfield's Sixteen Acres neighborhood
and Orchard Children's Corner in suburban Indian Orchard, a
Pre-Kindergarten, among others.
The diocese runs Cathedral High School, which is the largest Catholic
high school in Western Massachusetts. A non-denominational Christian
Pioneer Valley Christian Academy, is located in the
suburban Sixteen Acres neighborhood of the city. Two nonsectarian
private schools are also located in Springfield: Commonwealth
Academy located on the former campus of the MacDuffie School
(which moved to Granby, Massachusetts, in 2011 after 130 years in
Springfield), and teaches grades four through twelve, soon to enroll
students in grades K-12; and the Academy Hill School, which
teaches kindergarten through grade eight.
Within 15 miles (24 km) of Springfield are many private prep
schools, which can serve as day schools for Springfield students; they
Williston Northampton School
Williston Northampton School in Easthampton,
Massachusetts; Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham,
Suffield Academy in Suffield, Connecticut.
Universities and colleges
Knowledge Corridor boasts the second-largest concentration of
higher learning institutions in the United States, with 32
universities and liberal arts colleges and over 160,000 university
students in Greater Hartford-Springfield. Within 16 miles (26 km)
of Springfield's Metro Center, there are 18 universities and liberal
arts colleges, which enroll approximately 100,000 students.
As of 2015, Springfield attracts over 20,000 university students per
year. Its universities and colleges include Western New England
University; Springfield College, famous as the birthplace of the sport
of basketball (1891) and the nation's first physical education class,
(1912); American International College, founded to educate America's
immigrant population, is notable as the inventor of the Model Congress
UMass Amherst relocated its urban design center graduate
Court Square in Metro Center.
Several of Greater Springfield's institutions rank among the most
prestigious in the world. For example, Amherst College, 15 miles
(24 km) north of Springfield, and Smith College, 13 miles
(21 km) north of Springfield, consistently rank among America's
top 10 liberal arts colleges. Mount Holyoke College – the
United States' first women's college – consistently ranks among
America's Top 15 colleges, and it is located only 9 miles (14 km)
north of Springfield.
Hampshire College is located 14 miles
(23 km) north of Springfield. The 30,000-student University of
Massachusetts Amherst is located 16 miles (26 km) north of
Springfield. Approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Springfield,
across the Memorial Bridge in Westfield, is Westfield State
University, founded by noted education reformer Horace Mann. Westfield
was the first university in America to admit students without regard
to sex, race, or economic status.
Just outside Springfield's northern city limits is Elms College, a
Catholic college. Likewise, just 2 miles (3.2 km) below
Springfield's southern city limit in
Longmeadow is Bay Path
University; both schools were once all-women but are now co-ed.
In 1968, following the Pentagon's controversial closing of the
Springfield Armory, Springfielders founded Springfield Technical
Community College on 35 acres (14.2 ha) behind the Springfield
Armory National Park.
Springfield Technical Community College
Springfield Technical Community College is the
only "technical" community college in Massachusetts, and was founded
to continue Springfield's tradition of technical innovation.
Holyoke Community College, 8 miles (13 km) north of Springfield,
is Greater Springfield's more traditional community college.
Further information: Quadrangle (Springfield, Massachusetts)
§ Springfield City Library; and Indian Orchard Branch Library
Efforts to establish the Springfield Public Library began in the
1850s. In fiscal year 2008, the city of Springfield spent
1.13% ($5,321,151) of its budget on its public library – some
$35 per person. In fiscal year 2009, Springfield spent about 1%
($5,077,158) of its budget on the library – some $32 per
person. Springfield has Massachusetts' 2nd largest library
circulation, behind Boston.
As of 2012, the public library purchases access for its patrons to
databases owned by the following companies:
Gale, of Cengage Learning
Oxford University Press
ProQuest (products include
Springfield's largest local newspaper is The Republican. The
Republican used to be the Springfield Union-News & Sunday
Republican. Smaller papers such as The Reminder and the Valley
Advocate also serve Greater Springfield.
Other newspapers serve specific communities of interest, such as El
Pueblo Latino, serving the Hispanic community, Unity First and the
AfAm Point of View, both of which serve the African-American
community, and The Rainbow Times, which serves Springfield's LGBT
Springfield has a long history of broadcast television, including two
of the oldest
UHF television stations on the air today.
The CW Plus) (DT2)
Ion Television (DT3)
Nexstar Media Group
WGBH Educational Foundation
Nexstar Media Group
WFXQ-CD rebroadcasts WWLP.
UHF 22 (Digital 11).
WWLP-TV is the
NBC affiliate for the
area, and also carries subchannel affiliations with
The CW and Ion
WWLP-TV is owned and operated by the Nexstar Media Group,
and maintains studios in nearby Chicopee (where the station moved from
their old studios atop Provin Mountain). WWLP is the oldest TV station
to air regularly scheduled programming in the market, launching its
schedule on March 17, 1953, on Channel 61. WWLP also operated WRLP
UHF 32), a
UHF station licensed to Greenfield, whose transmitter was
in Winchester, New Hampshire, as well as W69AQ (
UHF 69), a low power
station that transmitted from the WWLP tower on Provin Mountain. WWLP
remains the only full-power station in the market with an analog
television signal on the air.
UHF 40 (Digital 40).
WGGB is the ABC and primary Fox, secondary
MyNetworkTV affiliate for the area.
WGGB is owned and operated by the
Meredith Corporation and its studios are on Liberty Street near the
WGGB (originally WHYN) signed on on April 1, 1953, on
Channel 55. In 1958, WHYN switched to
UHF 40. Guy Gannett Broadcasting
bought the station in 1979 and changed its call sign to the current
WGGB-TV effective at the start of the following year. In 2008, WGGB
launched a secondary service called "Fox 6", named after its channel
position on the local
Comcast cable TV lineup. FOX6 also appears on
WGGB's DTV sub-channel 40.2. WGGB's analog television signal signed
off permanently in late November 2008, due to a transmitter failure.
WSHM-LD broadcast local news under the branding "Western Mass
News", and maintain a relationship with the Springfield Republican.
WSHM-LD, VHF 3.5 (Digital 21).
WSHM-LD is Springfield's
operated by Hartford's WFSB. WSHM is owned and operated by the
Meredith Corporation and shares studios with
WGGB on Liberty Street
near the Chicopee line.
WGGB broadcast local news under
the branding "Western Mass News", and maintain a relationship with the
WSHM-LD was formerly W67DF, a translator of
TBN, before being sold to Meredith.
WSHM-LD is referred to as "
denoting its cable channel assignment within the market and to
encourage long-time viewers of
WFSB to stay with WSHM-LD.
UHF 57 (Digital 58 until April 18, 2009, Digital 22 thereafter).
WGBY is the
PBS member station for the area. WGBY's studios are in
downtown Springfield, near
Interstate 91 and the
Conrail train lines.
WGBY signed on in 1963.
WGBY is owned by the Boston-based WGBH
WGBY signed off their analog signal
permanently in November 2008, to allow for the replacement of
Springfield proper is serviced exclusively by
Springfield had a unique "dual plant" cable system from 1980 until
2001. All homes wired for cable had two cable drops run into their
Springfield was home to the first commercially licensed radio station
in the United States, and the oldest radio station of any kind in New
England: WBZ, which broadcast live from Springfield's luxurious Hotel
Kimball at 140 Chestnut Street, (now the
Kimball Towers Condominiums)
before moving to
Boston in 1931.
Network affiliation / owner
Westfield State College
Springfield Technical Community College
American International College
Hot Adult Contemporary (Top 40 on HD2)
Citadel Broadcasting Corporation
Adult contemporary (Country on HD2)
Saga Communications of New England
"Everything That Rocks"
Lighthouse Christian Center
Christian Rock/Pop Music, "The Q"
Saga Communications of New England
Holyoke Community College
New England University
Talk (simulcast of
WEEI-FM in Boston)
Cutting Edge Broadcasting
Public Radio (programmed by WFCR)
Carter Broadcasting Corporation
Success Signal Broadcasting
Davidson Media Group
Citadel Broadcasting Corporation
Sports Radio (
Sports Radio affiliate)
Davidson Media Group
Springfield's recently renovated historic Union Station will reopen
for bus, Amtrak, and commuter rail service in 2017
Springfield is called the Crossroads of
New England because it is the
major shipping nexus from New York City, Boston,
Montreal and the
Great Lakes (via Albany, New York). Much of the cargo heading from one
of these places to another crosses through the City of
Springfield. As a geographical trade center,
Springfield has more advantages than just being equidistant to these
other large trade centers – it sits beside the Connecticut
River, is located near some of the most fertile farmland in the
Northeast, and is served by numerous rail lines and Interstate
Highways, including I-90 (Mass Pike) and I-91, which connect New
Haven, Hartford, Holyoke, Northampton, and
Vermont to Springfield. One
of the few spurs of I-91 in Massachusetts, I-291, runs through
Springfield, and provides a secondary connection between I-90 and
Amtrak station sits at the junction of lines serving
Vermont (Vermonter); Chicago and
Boston (Lake Shore Limited); and New
Haven and beyond. Currently,
Amtrak operates out of a self-built
platform following the 1973 close of Springfield's grand 1926 Union
Station. In 2011, Springfield's Union Station started a
$70 million renovation to become an "intermodal transportation
facility," allowing Peter Pan Bus, Greyhound Bus, and the
occupy a modernist space next to the rebuilt, 1926 Union Station.
The southern line, in 2014, began to follow the tracks of the more
direct, former Montrealer route. The
New Haven–Springfield Line
New Haven–Springfield Line is
being upgraded for high-speed intercity commuter and freight rail. The
project has received funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
the Federal Government and the State of Connecticut. The trains on the
New Haven and Springfield will, it has been reported,
reach speeds of 110 mph (177 km/h). The project is scheduled
to begin service in January 2018.
There are no major freight yards in Springfield proper, but
Connecticut Southern Railroad and
CSX serve the West Springfield Yard
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is based in Springfield. Local
transit buses running into and out of the city use a facility owned
and operated by
Peter Pan Bus
Peter Pan Bus Lines, which is headquartered in
Springfield at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets, next to the
Gothic arch that denotes entrance into Metro Center Springfield. As of
2011, Peter Pan's Bus Terminal is need of a major aesthetic
overhaul – the opportunity for Peter Pan, Greyhound, and the
PVTA to move across the street to Springfield's Unions Station
intermodal facility should render the point moot. Plans call for
a bus station to be built on the plot adjacent to Union
Station – the site of the former Hotel Charles – with a
23-bay bus terminal on lower levels and a 400-space public parking lot
on upper levels.
Currently, the PVTA, headquartered at the Peter Pan Terminal, provides
services to the cities of Springfield, Chicopee, West Springfield,
Westfield, and Holyoke.
Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is 12
miles (19 km) south of Metro Center Springfield, and 12 miles
north of Hartford. It features over 100 daily departures to 30
destinations on nine airlines.
Other airports serving the Springfield include:
Westover Metropolitan Airport
Westover Metropolitan Airport is 5 miles (8 km) from downtown
Springfield. It is 3 miles (5 km) from the Massachusetts
Logan International Airport
Logan International Airport in
Boston is approximately 80 miles
(130 km) northeast of Springfield.
Water and sewer system
The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission (created in its current
form in 1996) owns several reservoirs and aqueducts, as well as
hydropower and sewage treatment stations. The city purchased the
Springfield Aqueduct Company in 1872.
Historic postcard: Cobble Mountain Reservoir
Borden Brook Reservoir, located in the rural western Hampden County
town of Blandford was completed in 1910. It feeds into the Cobble
Mountain Reservoir (completed in 1931) located at the junction of the
towns of Blandford, Granville and Russell. The Wild Cat Aqueduct
carries water from the Cobble Mountain Reservoir to a hydroelectric
generating station on the Granville-Russel border, at the Little
River. Drinking water flows to the West Parish Water Filtration Plant
in Westfield, and is then pumped to holding tanks at the top of Provin
Mountain in Agawam.
The 1875 Ludlow Reservoir, also known as Springfield Reservoir, is
maintained as an emergency water supply; it is located in Ludlow and
fed via the Broad Brook Canal.
SWSC provides retail water in Springfield and Ludlow; wholesale water
to Agawam, East Longmeadow, and Longmeadow; partial or peak service to
Southwick, Westfield, and West Springfield; and emergency service to
Chicopee and Wilbraham.
See also: Category:People from Springfield, Massachusetts
Abolitionist John Brown in Springfield in 1846
Dr. Seuss, Springfield author and illustrator
Springfield LSD activist
Timothy Leary sitting between Allen Ginsberg
(left) and Dr. John C. Lilly
James McNeil Whistler, famous American painter, grew up in Springfield
Creighton Abrams, U.S. Army general, Chief of Staff of the United
States Army, and Commander of Operations during the Vietnam War
Weston Adams, longtime president of the NHL's
Johnny Appleseed, American folk hero, spent his childhood and young
adulthood in Springfield
Joe Arpaio, "America's Toughest Sheriff," known for "tent city" prison
in Maricopa County, Arizona
Adele Addison, soprano, acclaimed in classical music during the
Joel Asaph Allen, zoologist
George Ashmun, founder of the
U.S. Republican Party and Springfield
Travis Best, National
Basketball Association player
Alfred Ely Beach, inventor of New York City's subway system
R. P. Blackmur, poet and literary critic
Nina Blackwood, original MTV VJ and
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius Satellite Radio DJ
Ran Blake, jazz pianist
Thomas Blanchard, inventor of lathe (1819), which led to technological
advances known as interchangeable parts and assembly line
manufacturing; also, inventor of first modern car – powered by
Herbert Blomstedt, orchestra conductor of Danish National Symphony
Orchestra, and symphony orchestras in San Francisco and Stockholm,
Edward Boland, U.S. Congressman 1952-1989
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, first African-American and third woman to become
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Mary Ann Booth, American photomicroscopy pioneer, parasitologist,
whose work on the bubonic plague and many other diseases was
Chester Bowles, former Governor of Connecticut
Samuel Bowles, journalist, founder of Springfield Republican, one of
United States Republican Party
Lloyd Wheaton Bowers, lawyer and former U.S. Solicitor General
National Football League
National Football League player
Milton Bradley, inventor of parlor games and game-manufacturer
Chuck Bresnahan, NFL coach
John Brown, abolitionist
Harold R. Bull, completed the weather report that enabled the D-Day
launch during World War II
Nick Buoniconti, NFL Hall of Famer
Thornton Burgess, children's author, known for "Peter Cottontail"
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball pitcher
Amzi Chapin, cabinet maker, singing-school teacher and shapenote
Chester W. Chapin, railroad magnate
Deacon Samuel Chapin, early settler of Springfield, 1642
Thornton Chase, first American convert to the Bahá'í Faith
Yodelin' Slim Clark, singer
Bobby Coleman, singer-songwriter
Shamus Culhane, lead animator at Walt Disney Studios, who produced
such classics as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Billy Curtis, actor, best known as a Munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz",
and "Terror of Tinytown"
Bill Danoff, member of
Starland Vocal Band
Starland Vocal Band and wrote No. 1 hit
Donald Davidson, philosopher, known for studies regarding
Jim Douglas, Governor of
Vermont from 2003 to 2010
Vinny Del Negro, NBA player and head coach
David W. Evans, professor of psychology and neuroscience, Bucknell
George Bowman Ferry, architect
Theodore Foley, Roman Catholic priest, nominated for sainthood in 2008
June Foray, voice actress for animated films
Bertram Forer, psychologist, known for the Forer effect
Carole Fredericks, French musician whose brother was Springfield blues
great Taj Mahal
John Garand, weapons inventor
Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), writer and illustrator best
known for his children's books
Frederick H. Gillett, Speaker of the
United States House of
Representatives from 1919 to 1925,
United States Senator from 1925 to
Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber
Mike Gravel, senator from Alaska
Chester Harding, portrait painter during 19th century
Richard F. Heck, awarded the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010
Victor Heflin, football player
Massachusetts state legislator
Elizur Holyoke, early explorer of Western Massachusetts, for whom
Massachusetts and the
Holyoke Range are named
Joseph French Johnson, economist, wrote the inspirational "The Price
Alan Kay, computer scientist
Edward Kamuda, founder and president of Titanic Historical Society
Derek Kellogg, LIU Brooklyn men's basketball head coach
Peter King, sportswriter and TV commentator
Stanley King, 11th president of Amherst College
Bob Kudelski, professional hockey player
Timothy Leary, writer, psychologist and advocate of psychedelic drug
research and use
Norman Leyden, conductor and clarinetist
Edward Tsang Lu, astronaut
Arthur MacArthur, Jr., Army general, father of Douglas MacArthur
William Manchester, historian, author of
The Death of a President and
other renowned literary works
Rabbit Maranville, professional baseball player, inducted into
Baseball Hall of Fame
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954
Frank J. Matrango, state legislator
Tim Mayotte, professional tennis player
Miles Morgan, hero of
King Philip's War
King Philip's War of 1675, a statue of Morgan
stands in Springfield's Court Square
Horace A. Moses, philanthropist and paper pioneer
James Naismith, inventor of basketball
Tom Newberry, football player
Lowell North, Olympic gold medalist in sailing
Larry O'Brien, Postmaster General, Democratic National Committee
chairman and Commissioner of the National
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball pitcher
Robert B. Parker, author of Spenser and Jesse Stone novels
Joe Philbin, head coach of NFL Miami Dolphins
Eleanor Powell, actress, famous tap dancer
William Pynchon, founder of City of Springfield; earlier founded
Roxbury, Massachusetts; in 1649, wrote America's first banned book
Caleb Rice, first Mayor of Springfield, President of MassMutual
George Washington Rice, founder of
MassMutual Life Insurance
William Marsh Rice, founder of Rice University, Houston, Texas
Stephen Rivers (1955–2010), political activist and publicist.
Peter Robinson, actor and freak show performer
Kurt Russell, actor
Julia Sanderson, actress, vaudevillian, and namesake of Springfield's
Julia Sanderson Theater
Julia Sanderson Theater (now The Paramount Theater)
Joe Scibelli, Los Angeles Rams professional football player
Mike Scully, writer and producer for The Simpsons
Chloë Sevigny, actress
Michael Shapiro, actor and voice actor
Daniel Shays, leader of Shays' Rebellion
Eddie Shore, professional hockey player and owner
Stass Shpanin, contemporary visual artist included in Guinness Book of
World Records as Youngest Professional Artist in the World
David Socha international soccer referee
Tommy Tallarico, video game music composer
Antonio Thomas, professional wrestler
George Tomasini, film editor known for work with Alfred Hitchcock
Mike Trombley, former
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball pitcher
Paige Turco, actress
Sacco and Vanzetti
Sacco and Vanzetti were accused of murder in a
famous American legal case informed by worries over immigrants and
associated radicalism in 1920s Boston; it is now thought that Vanzetti
may have been innocent
Lynn Vincent, author
David Ames Wells, engineer and economist
Daniel Baird Wesson, weapons inventor and founder of Smith &
Daytime Emmy award-winning soap opera actress
James McNeill Whistler, painter
Terence H. Winkless, film and television director
Taj Mahal, native Springfield musician
Notable musical artists include:
The Acacia Strain, deathcore band
Agoraphobic Nosebleed, grindcore band
All That Remains, metalcore band
Destrophy, Otep, Erik Tisinger, guitarist and bassist, from
Carole Fredericks, singer
Eddie Fontaine, singer
Ashley Gearing, country music artist
Killswitch Engage, metalcore band
Wanita "D. Woods" Woodgette, hip hop artist
Taj Mahal, blues musician
Tony MacAlpine, fusion musician
Joe Morello, jazz drummer with the Dave Brubeck Quartet
Mark Mulcahy musician
Linda Perry, songwriter, formerly of 4 Non Blondes
Shadows Fall, metalcore band
Staind, alternative rock band
Paul Weston, composer for Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and others
D. Woods, member of group Danity Kane
Phil Woods, jazz saxophonist with Quincy Jones, Steely Dan, Paul
National Register of Historic Places listings in Springfield,
Notes and references
^ While both demonyms are listed in the
there is some indication that Springfieldian is given some propriety-
"In at least two cases, the name of the resident depends on which
state the town is in: Richmonder in Virginia but Richmondite in
Indiana; Springfieldian in
Massachusetts but Springfielder in
^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest
temperature readings at any point during the year or given month)
calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
^ Official records for Hartford kept at downtown from January 1905 to
Brainard Airport from January 1949 to December 1954,
and at Bradley Int'l in Windsor Locks since January 1955.
^ "The City of Progress New City Library, Merrick Park, State Street
Springfield, MA". Cardcow.com.
^ "The City Of Progress, Winchester Square Springfield, MA".
^ Denis Larionov & Alexander Zhulin. "Progressive Springfield,
Massachusetts, by George Storrs Graves". Ebooksread.com.
^ "Picturesque Springfield and West Springfield, Massachusetts".
Archive.org. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
^ a b "Progressive Springfield, Massachusetts". Archive.org. Retrieved
December 27, 2011.
^ "Picturesque Springfield and West Springfield, Massachusetts".
Archive.org. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
^ The Price & Lee Co.'s Springfield Directory. Price & Lee Co.
1960. p. 22. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
^ Industrial Directory and Shippers' Guide. New York Central Lines.
1921. p. 266. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
^ a b "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 –
State – County Subdivision, 2010 Census Redistricting Data
(Public Law 94-171) Summary File". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March
^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9,
^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary
File 1 (G001):
Springfield, MA Metro Area". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau.
Retrieved August 2, 2017.
^ Brooke, Maxey (1983). "Everybody Comes From Somewhere". Word Ways.
Butler University. 16 (3): 151–152.
Merriam Webster English Dictionary (Online ed.).
Springfield, MA: Merriam Webster, Inc. 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017. a
native or resident of Springfield (such as Springfield in Illinois,
Massachusetts, or Ohio) : springfielder
^ "Total Real Gross Domestic Product for Springfield, MA (MSA)".
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Archived from the original on
December 27, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the
original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
^ The Independent. "Pinpointing the Most Popular Sports in the World
is not that easy". Academic.aucegypt.edu. Retrieved May 24,
^ "Press Room". Bradleyairport.com. Archived from the original on
January 21, 2012.
^ "United Airlines – US Airways Club". Web.archive.org. October 18,
2011. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved July
^ "Site Map". Delta.com.
Massachusetts 2010–2011 Economic Review" (PDF). March 22,
2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2015. Retrieved
October 16, 2014.
^ Barrows, Charles Henry (1911). The History of Springfield in
Massachusetts for the Young: Being also in some part the history of
other towns and cities in the county of Hampden.
Historical Society. pp. 46–48
^ "Find in a Library: The Encyclopedia of New England". worldcat.org.
Retrieved October 16, 2014.
^ a b c "Firsts Springfield 375". Springfield375.org. Archived from
the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
^ "New Museum of Springfield History to Open October 10 —
News". Springfield Museums. September 24, 2009. Retrieved April 4,
^ "New Haven — Hartford – Springfield Rail Program".
nhhsrail.com. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
^ "MGM Springfield – Our Vision". web.archive.org. Archived
from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved October 16,
^ "Springfield Redevelopment Authority: Union Station".
www3.springfield-ma.gov. Archived from the original on October 18,
2014. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".
United States Census
Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary
File 1 (G001):
Springfield city, Massachusetts". American Factfinder. U.S. Census
Bureau. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
^ "Amenities Choose Springfield, Massachusetts".
Choosespringfieldmass.com. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
^ a b c Tower, J.E.; Gardner, E.C. (1905). Springfield Present and
Prospective: The City of Homes. Pond & Campbell. p. 86.
Retrieved October 16, 2014.
^ a b James Notchey. "
Tornado Outbreak Summary –
National Weather Service Forecast Office in Taunton, MA".
Massachusetts News, Weather, Photos, Events – Western Mass News".
Wggb.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved
April 27, 2016.
^ "Four dead in Springfield tornadoes WTNH.com Connecticut".
^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
^ "Station Name: CT HARTFORD BRADLEY INTL AP". National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
^ "WMO Climate Normals for HARTFORD/BRADLEY INT'L ARPT CT
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Springfield, Massachusetts.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Springfield, Massachusetts.
Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
about Springfield, Massachusetts.
City of Springfield,
Massachusetts Official city website
Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau
Springfield Chamber of Commerce
King's Handbook of Springfield, 1884.
Historical Maps of Springfield from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
Boston Public Library
City of Springfield
Arts and Culture
Colleges and universities
Peter Pan Bus
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Springfield Union Station
Connecticut River Walk Park
Eastern States Exposition
Eastern States Exposition (Big E)
The Zoo In Forest Park
Stone Dog II
Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Science
Six Flags New England
Smith Art Museum
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
The Titanic Museum
East Forest Park
Apremont Triangle Historic District
Mattoon St. Historic District
Basketball Hall of Fame
Valley Blue Sox
Places adjacent to Springfield, Massachusetts
Articles relating to Springfield
Municipalities and communities of Hampden County, Massachusetts,
County seat: Springfield
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Quabbin-Swift River Valley
Note: Municipalities not listed have a town meeting form of government
(see all municipalities)
Mayors of cities with populations exceeding 100,000 in Massachusetts
Joseph M. Petty
Edward J. Kennedy
New England Colonies
Dominion of New England
New England Confederation
Place names of Native-American origin
MBTA (MA, RI)
Northeast Corridor (CT, MA, RI)
Acela Express (CT, MA, RI)
Downeaster (ME, NH, MA)
Vermonter (CT, MA, NH, VT)
Shore Line East
Shore Line East (CT)
Hartford Line (CT, MA; under construction)
New England (proposed)
I-84 (CT, MA)
I-89 (NH, VT)
I-90 (Mass Pike) (MA)
I-91 (CT, MA, VT)
I-93 (MA, NH, VT)
I-95 (CT, RI, MA, NH, ME)
New England road marking system
T. F. Green (RI)
Connecticut River watershed
Black Hall River
East Brookfield River
Five Mile River
Little Sugar River
Mill River (Northampton)
Mill River (Springfield)
North Branch Millers River
North Branch Westfield River
Seven Mile River
Upper Ammonoosuc River
Ball Mountain Lake
Canaan Street Lake
Lake Francis (Murphy Dam)
Lakes of the Clouds
Little Sunapee Lake
North Hartland Lake
Surry Mountain Lake
Smaller cities and towns
White River Junction
Amtrak Old Saybrook – Old Lyme Bridge
Calvin Coolidge Bridge
Canalside Rail Trail Bridge
Cornish–Windsor Covered Bridge
Dexter Coffin Bridge
French King Bridge
Janice Peaslee Bridge
Morey Memorial Bridge
Mount Orne Covered Bridge
Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge
Pittsburg–Clarksville Covered Bridge
Raymond E. Baldwin Bridge
Wells River Bridge
Major metropolitan areas
Northeastern United States
District of Columbia
New York City
Coordinates: 42°06′45″N 72°32′51″W / 42.112411°N
72.547455°W / 42.