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					                                                                         January 31, 2005
Department of landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
Landscape Architecture 604
Court Square Park Design


                           Background /Influences on Design


Springfield History:

Springfield was founded in 1636 by William Pynchon and a small group of men from
Eastern Massachusetts. Known by its Indian name of Agawam until 1640, it was renamed
Springfield that year in honor of Pynchon's home town of Springfield, England. Pynchon,
a shareholder in the Massachusetts Bay Company, was drawn to the Connecticut Valley
for its fine fur trading opportunities. The money generated from that trade not only
stimulated the growth of Springfield, but also provided the necessary capital to establish
other towns north along the Connecticut River.

The town was set out along the Connecticut River, with its houses built on land between
the river and present day Main Street, its woodlots located across Main Street from its
houselots, and its planting grounds laid out across the river, where the land was more
favorable for farming. Springfield became the shire town of the newly created Hampshire
County in 1662.

For Springfield's future, the most significant event of the eighteenth century was the
establishment, by Congress, of the Federal Armory here in 1794. This was the first
federal arms manufactory in the United States. The presence of the Armory attracted a
skilled workforce to the town. When mechanics and craftsmen left the Armory's employ
they often started their own enterprises or took their expertise to local businesses. The
ingenuity and inventiveness of these men contributed significantly to the industrial
growth of Springfield throughout the nineteenth century. The armory played a significant
role in the Civil war it was the primary armament producing facility of the union army,
with over 2,000 employees.


In 1812 Hampshire was divided into Hampden and Hampshire counties. Springfield
became the county seat of the newly formed Hampden County. By 1820 the town had
evolved from its agrarian beginnings into a manufacturing town.

Innovations in transportation contributed to Springfield's increasing economic growth and
success in the early nineteenth century. The town's first bridge to span the Connecticut
River was built in 1805. The construction of canals along the Connecticut River, together
with developments in steamboat technology, expanded the commercial traffic along the
river, increasing Springfield's access to new markets for its goods. By the late 1830s, the
ascendant role of the railroads had eclipsed the importance of the Connecticut River for
Springfield's economic future. In 1839 the Western Railroad, originating in Boston,
connected Worcester to Springfield. Within a few years, rail lines ran both North to South
and East to West through the town, giving Springfield the distinction of being "the
crossroads of New England."

The building of the canals, dams and railroads in the Connecticut Valley brought large
numbers of Irish laborers to Springfield, where many remained to work on the railroads
or in the local factories. The mills and construction trades began to attract French
Canadians from over the border. Despite the loss of the Cabotville and Chicopee Falls
sections of Springfield, which became the new town of Chicopee in 1848, Springfield's
population had grown to the point where it could incorporate as a city in 1852. Its first
mayor was Caleb Rice, President of the year-old Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
Company. Between 1855 and 1865, Springfield's population increased by 65% as
European immigrants began to arrive here, and work opportunities drew people to the
city from the surrounding towns..

The Civil War brought boom times to Springfield. The capture of Harper's Ferry by
Confederate forces left the Springfield Armory as the only government-owned gun
manufacturing facility in the North. As such, the Armory received war orders from the
Ordnance Department in Washington that necessitated a peak production level of 3,000
guns per month, and it employed 2400 men. For the city's private arms manufacturers,
like Smith and Wesson, the war brought increased work from government contracts.
Some industries in Springfield switched production or adapted their processes to assist in
the war effort. The Wason car shops turned out gun carriages in addition to
manufacturing their railroad coaches, lithographer Milton Bradley invented board games
like the "Checkered Game of Life" to entertain the Northern Troops, and clothing
manufacturer D.H. Brigham produced Union Army uniforms. Remarkably, after the Civil
War, when the Armory's production dropped dramatically, its skilled workforce was able
to find employment in other industries which had sprung up in the city, and Springfield's
growth and prosperity continued unabated.

From the post-Civil War period to the Great Depression, the city of Springfield enjoyed a
golden age of tremendous growth and achievement. While arms manufacturing remained
the backbone of the economy, the city also underwent continued diversification in its
commerce. Springfield had a small but thriving publishing industry. The nationally
respected Springfield Republican and the magazine Good Housekeeping, which was
founded in Springfield by former Springfield Republican newspaperman Clark Bryan in
1885, were published in the city; Merriam- Webster Dictionary began here in the 1830s.
Springfield also had a vibrant insurance industry, and was the home of such concerns as
Springfield Fire and Marine, which later became Monarch Life Insurance, and
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. During this period, the city could lay
claim to some notable manufacturing firsts. In 1895 the Duryea brothers organized the
first American company to mass-produce the gasoline-powered automobile they had
developed. Champion bicyclist George Hendee went into partnership with Oscar
Hedstrom, and as the first motorcycle manufacturer in the United States, started
production of their renowned Indian Motocycle here in 1901. In the early twentieth
century, Springfield was the headquarters of Knox Automobile, which made the first
viable motorized Fire Department vehicles in America. During this era, Springfield's
reputation as a city with a stable workforce skilled in precision metalworking attracted
international firms like Britain's Rolls Royce and Germany's Bosch Magneto to the city.

. The city was also the benefactor of library building grants from international steel
magnate Andrew Carnegie, which provided for the building of a new Main Library in
1911 to replace the 1871 structure on State Street, as well as three branch libraries located
in the bustling neighborhoods of Forest Park, Indian Orchard and the North End's
Memorial Square.

While individual benefactors made their mark upon the city, Springfield's leading
citizens, led by local architect Eugene C. Gardner and his son, George, were also inspired
by the City Beautiful Movement, with its emphasis on city planning and the
beautification of cities through the juxtaposition of grand architecture and aesthetically
pleasing open spaces. For Springfield, that grand turn-of-the-century vision resulted in
the construction of the Springfield Museums, the Municipal Group, and the Hampden
County Memorial Bridge.


Springfield's success as an industrial city attracted large numbers of immigrants. The
city's population doubled between 1880 and 1900 and doubled again between 1900 and
1920. Three quarters of the French Canadians who made their homes in the city arrived
between 1870 and 1890. The majority of Polish immigrants came after 1890 and settled
in the North End and the Indian Orchard sections of Springfield. Jews and Germans, who
began to populate the city in the Civil War period, continued to come, and significant
numbers of Italians began to arrive in the South End in the 1890s, quadrupling their
numbers by the outbreak of WWI. Springfield's infrastructure expanded: housing,
schools, and services were added to accommodate the city's swelling population. The
trolley system, which began operation in 1869, connected the new neighborhoods of the
McKnight district and Forest Park to the workplace. In the late 1880s Springfield was
dubbed "the City of Homes."

By the mid-twentieth century, Springfield, like many Northeastern industrial cities, was
faced with a decaying and outmoded downtown area. In the 1960s Federal aid was made
available for urban renewal and Springfield's "go-go" mayors of that era took the
opportunity to revitalize the city's downtown district. Baystate West, the Civic Center,
and the Hall of Justice, all designed by Eduardo Catalano, are products of that period.
Federally funded highway construction projects led to the building of Interstates 91 and
291 in the 1960s and 1970s, while in the 1980s business initiatives and Federal dollars
funded the construction of Monarch Place, the Bank of Boston Building on Court Square,
the Federal Building, and Center Square.
Court Square/ Adjacent Buildings History

Old First Church has been centered in Court Square since 1637, the year after Springfield
was founded. Settlers of the new plantation began formal worship by calling the
Reverend George Moxon as the first "godly and faithful minister" of the parish to be
established in the western area of the Massachusetts By Colony.

The original meeting house was erected in 1645. This structure became too small by 1677
and was replaced by a larger one. This second meeting house was replaced by another
new structure built in 1752. The present and fourth meeting house was built by Captain
Isaac Damon and was dedicated in 1819.

For many years the meeting house of the Church of Christ, located on what was known as
"Meeting House Square", now called Court Square, was the only building used for
religious services in the community. Every resident of the town was a member of Old
First Church.

County Square was transformed into a New England town center to a formal park.,
quadrangle and green were built as civic gestures.

The demographic composition over history, connection/influence of First Church

Current Users:
Springfield Demographics Overall- total population (2000 Census)
Court Square Census Block Group-
        South End
        North End
        Downtown Business District
Major Employers in area- approx this many workers in area daily, variety of employment
(city hall, civic center,
Convention people

Tourists- list of attractions, b-ball hall of fame, Dr. Suess Museum

1. What is the National Register of Historic Places?

The National Register, maintained by the National Park Service, Department of the
Interior, is the nation's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects
significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture.

Inclusion in this distinguished list offers recognition that an individual property or a
collection of properties are significant to the Nation, the State, or the community.

2. What are the benefits of listing?

       Property owners may be eligible for certain Federal tax provisions.
       Owners of properties listed in the National Register may be eligible for a 20
       percent investment tax credit for the certified ehabilitation of income-producing
       certified historic structures such as commercial, industrial, or rental residential
       buildings. Federal tax deductions also are available for charitable contributions
       for conservation purposes of partial interests in historically important land areas
       or structures.

      Historic properties are given consideration in the planning for Federal, federally
       licensed, and federally assisted projects.

       Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires that
       Federal agencies allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an
       opportunity to comment on all projects affecting historic properties either listed
       in or determined eligible for listing in the National Register. An example might be
       the impact on historic properties of a new or enlarged highway.

      Property owners qualify for Federal grants for historic preservation, when funds
       are available.

       Funds are not available at this time.

3. What are the restrictions of listing?

Owners of private properties listed in the National Register are free to maintain, manage,
or dispose of their property as they choose provided that no Federal monies are involved.

4. How old does a property have to be to qualify?

Generally, properties eligible for listing in the National Register are at least 50 years old.
Properties less than 50 years of age must be exceptionally significant to be considered
eligible for listing.

5. What are the National Register criteria for evaluation?

The criteria are designed to guide State and local governments, Federal agencies, and
others in evaluating potential entries in the National Register. Significance in history,
architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture and integrity of location, design,
setting, materials, workmanship and:
a. associated with historic events or activities
b. associated with important persons
c. distinctive design or characteristics
d. potential archaeological information.

6. How is a property nominated to the National Register?
After a nomination has been prepared at the local level, it is submitted for review and a
recommendation to a State review board. If a favorable review is given, the nomination is
made to the National Register by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO).

During the time the proposed nomination is reviewed by the SHPO, property owners and
local officials are notified of the intent to nominate and are given an opportunity to
comment.

7. What is the difference between a National Register Historic District and a
"municipal historic district"?

Federal tax benefits and national recognition is available in a National Register Historic
District, but there are no local controls on historic buildings. These come through the
establishment by the local government, after review and approval by the State, of a
locally administered historic district.

8. What is a Certified Rehabilitation?

In order to qualify for National Register investment tax credits, certified rehabilitation
work must be done in accordance with national historic preservation standards which
assume quality and longevity of the rehabilitation.

9. What are the rehabilitation standards?

The Department of Interior Standards for rehabilitation of National Register buildings
are the following:

1. Endeavor to use the building for its original purpose or for a compatible use requiring
minimal changes.

2. Retain and preserve original distinguishing features and qualities.

3. Recognize all buildings and structures as products of their own time, avoiding changes
that have no historical basis.

4. Recognize and preserve changes that have occurred over time if they have significance
in their own right.

5. Retain and preserve distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craftsmanship
that characterize the building or site.

6. Repair rather than replace worn architecture features. If replacement is necessary, new
material should match the old in all visual qualitie--design, color, texture; and should be
based on factual historical data.
7. Clean facades using the gentlest means possible. Avoid sandblasting. High water
pressure or other damaging methods are not permitted.

8. Protect and preserve archaeological resources affected by or adjacent to a project.

9. Compatible contemporary additions or alterations are acceptable if:

      they do not destroy significant historical, architectural, or cultural materials and
      the design is compatible with size, scale, color, material, and character of the
       structure and neighborhood

				
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