Springfield, Massachusetts

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Springfield, Massachusetts
City
City of Springfield
Springfield-MA.jpg
Symphony Hall - Springfield, Massachusetts - DSC03277.JPG
The Puritan by St. Gaudens.jpg
Court Square, Springfield MA.jpg
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.jpg
Memorial Bridge, Springfield MA.jpg
Springfield Armory Museum - Springfield, Massachusetts - DSC02481.JPG
Nickname(s): 
The City of Firsts; The City of Progress; [1] [2] [3] The City of Homes; A City in the Forest; [4] Hoop City; [5] [6]
The Western Gateway to New England [7] [8]
Hampden County Massachusetts incorporated and unincorporated areas Springfield highlighted.svg
Location in Hampden County in Massachusetts
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Springfield, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°06′05″N72°35′25″W / 42.10139°N 72.59028°W / 42.10139; -72.59028 Coordinates: 42°06′05″N72°35′25″W / 42.10139°N 72.59028°W / 42.10139; -72.59028
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Massachusetts.svg  Massachusetts
County HampdenCountyMA-seal.svg Hampden
Region New England
Historic countries Kingdom of England
Kingdom of Great Britain
Historic colonies Connecticut Colony
(1636–1641)
Massachusetts Bay Colony (1641–1686, 1689–1691)
Dominion of New England (1686–1689)
Province of Massachusetts Bay
(1691–1780)
Settled (town)May 14, 1636
Incorporated (city)May 25, 1852
Founded by William Pynchon
Named for Springfield, Essex
Government
  Type Mayor-council city
   Mayor Domenic Sarno (D)
Area
[9]
  City33.08 sq mi (85.68 km2)
  Land31.87 sq mi (82.54 km2)
  Water1.21 sq mi (3.14 km2)
Elevation
70 ft (21 m)
Population
 (2020)
  City155,929
  Rank 168th, U.S. as of 2020 incorporated places estimate
  Density4,892.66/sq mi (1,889.08/km2)
   Metro 699,162
Demonym(s) Springfieldian [lower-alpha 1]
Springfielder [12]
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
01101, 01103–01105, 01107–01109, 01118–01119, 01128–01129, 01151
Area code 413
FIPS code 25-67000
GNIS feature ID0609092
GDP$30 billion USD [13]
Primary Airport Bradley International Airport
Interstates I-90.svg I-91.svg I-291.svg I-391.svg
Commuter Rail Amtrak logo.svg
CT Rail logo black.svg
Transit PVTA.svg
Website www.springfield-ma.gov

Springfield is a city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. [14] 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 2020 Census, the city's population was 155,929, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. [15] Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas [lower-alpha 2] in Massachusetts (the other being Greater Boston), had a population of 699,162 as of 2020. [10]

Contents

Springfield was founded in 1636, the first Springfield in the New World. In the late 1700s, during the American Revolution, Springfield was designated by George Washington as the site of the Springfield Armory because of its central location. Subsequently it was the site of Shays' Rebellion. The city would also play a pivotal role in the Civil War, as a stop on the Underground Railroad and home of abolitionist John Brown, widely known for his raid on Harpers Ferry, [16] and for the Armory's manufacture of the famed "Springfield rifles" used ubiquitously by Union troops. Closing during the Johnson administration, today the national park site features the largest collection of historic American firearms in the world. [17]

Today the city is the largest in western New England, and the urban, economic, and media capital of Massachusetts' section of the Connecticut River Valley, colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley. Springfield has several nicknames—"The City of Firsts", due to the many innovations developed there, such as the first American dictionary, the first American gas-powered automobile, and the first machining lathe for interchangeable parts; "The City of Homes", due to its Victorian residential architecture; and "Hoop City", as basketball was invented in Springfield in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith.

Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, lies 24 miles (39 km) south of Springfield, on the western bank of the Connecticut River. 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. [18] 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.

History

View of Springfield, Massachusetts, on the Connecticut River c. 1840-1845, by Thomas Chambers View of Springfield, Massachusetts on the Connecticut River by Thomas Chambers.JPG
View of Springfield, Massachusetts, on the Connecticut Riverc.1840–1845, by Thomas Chambers

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, including trade disputes as well as Captain John Mason's hostilities toward native tribes, which precipitated the settlement's joining the Massachusetts Bay Colony. [19] [20] During its early existence, Springfield flourished both as an agricultural settlement and as a trading post, although its prosperity waned dramatically during (and after) King Philip's War in 1675, when natives laid siege to it and burned it to the ground as part of the ongoing campaign. During that attack, three-quarters of the original settlement was burned to the ground, with many of Springfield's residents survived by taking refuge in John Pynchon's brick house, the "Old Fort", the first such house to be built in the Connecticut River Valley. Out of the siege, Miles Morgan and his sons were lauded as heroes; as one of the few homesteads to survive the attack, alerting troops in Hadley, as well as Toto, often referred to as the "Windsor Indian" who, running 20 miles from Windsor, Connecticut to the settlement, was able to give advance warning of the attack. [21]

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 City, and Montreal, and with some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil. [22] In 1777, Springfield's location at numerous crossroads led George Washington and 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. [23] 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. [24] The near-capture of the armory during Shays' Rebellion of 1787 led directly to the formation of the U.S. Constitutional Convention.

Main Street, 1908 1908 Main Street Springfield Massachusetts byDetroitPubCo LC 4a22730a.jpg
Main Street, 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 mass production 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). [23] Springfield would play major roles in machine production, initially driven by the arms industry of the Armory, as well as from private companies such as Smith & Wesson, established by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. Similarly, the industrial economy led Thomas and Charles Wason to establish the Wason Manufacturing Company, which produced the first manufactured sleeping car. [25] The largest railcar works in New England, Wason produced 100 cars a day at its peak; the company was eventually was purchased by Brill in 1907 and closed during the Depression in 1937. [26] Among numerous other industries, during the first half of the 20th century Springfield also produced brass goods, chemicals, clothing and knit goods, paper goods, watches, boilers, engines, manufacturing machinery, silverware, jewelry, skates, carriages, buttons, needles, toys, and printed books and magazines. [27]

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 Connecticut River 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. During the early 21st century, Springfield saw long-term revitalization projects and several large projects, including the $1 billion New Haven–Hartford–Springfield intercity rail; [28] a $1 billion MGM casino. [29] [30]

Geography

Hartford-Springfield satellite image Springfield ma from space.jpg
Hartford–Springfield satellite image

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. [31] 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. [32]

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 Connecticut opposite Springfield's South End Bridge; and the eastern Chicopee River, which flows into the Connecticut less than 0.5 mi (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). [33] The Connecticut state line is only 4 miles (6 km) south of Springfield, beside the wealthy suburb of Longmeadow, which itself separated from Springfield in 1783. [33]

Springfield's densely urban Metro Center district surrounding Main Street is relatively flat, and follows the north–south trajectory of the 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. 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 Connecticut River.

The City of Springfield also owns the Springfield Country Club, located in the autonomous city of West Springfield, which separated from Springfield in 1774. [33]

Climate

Springfield, MA
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3.2
 
 
35
18
 
 
2.9
 
 
39
21
 
 
3.6
 
 
48
28
 
 
3.7
 
 
61
38
 
 
4.4
 
 
71
48
 
 
4.4
 
 
80
57
 
 
4.2
 
 
85
63
 
 
3.9
 
 
83
61
 
 
3.9
 
 
75
53
 
 
4.4
 
 
63
41
 
 
3.9
 
 
52
33
 
 
3.4
 
 
40
23
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Metric conversion
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
82
 
 
1
−8
 
 
73
 
 
4
−6
 
 
92
 
 
9
−2
 
 
94
 
 
16
4
 
 
110
 
 
22
9
 
 
110
 
 
26
14
 
 
106
 
 
29
17
 
 
100
 
 
28
16
 
 
99
 
 
24
12
 
 
111
 
 
17
5
 
 
99
 
 
11
1
 
 
87
 
 
4
−5
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Springfield, like other cities in southern New England, has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa) with four distinct seasons and precipitation evenly distributed throughout the year, but the intensity (and sometimes the duration) of warmer periods greater than northern areas. 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.[ citation needed ]

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 nights. Precipitation averages 45.85 inches (1,165 mm) annually, and snowfall averages 40.5 inches (103 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.[ citation needed ]

On June 1, 2011, Springfield was directly struck by the second-largest tornado ever to hit Massachusetts. [34] With wind speeds exceeding 160 mph (257 km/h), the tornado left three dead, hundreds injured, and over 500 homeless in the city alone. [35] [36] The tornado caused hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage to Springfield and destroyed nearly everything in a 39-mile-long (63 km) path from Westfield to Charlton, Massachusetts. [34] It was the first deadly tornado to strike Massachusetts since May 29, 1995.

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)72
(22)
77
(25)
89
(32)
96
(36)
99
(37)
100
(38)
103
(39)
102
(39)
101
(38)
91
(33)
83
(28)
76
(24)
103
(39)
Mean maximum °F (°C)57
(14)
58
(14)
68
(20)
82
(28)
90
(32)
93
(34)
96
(36)
94
(34)
90
(32)
80
(27)
71
(22)
60
(16)
98
(37)
Average high °F (°C)35.8
(2.1)
38.5
(3.6)
47.3
(8.5)
60.5
(15.8)
71.7
(22.1)
79.9
(26.6)
85.2
(29.6)
83.3
(28.5)
75.7
(24.3)
63.5
(17.5)
51.5
(10.8)
40.6
(4.8)
61.1
(16.2)
Daily mean °F (°C)27.1
(−2.7)
29.6
(−1.3)
37.8
(3.2)
49.5
(9.7)
60.0
(15.6)
68.9
(20.5)
74.3
(23.5)
72.5
(22.5)
64.8
(18.2)
53.0
(11.7)
42.3
(5.7)
32.6
(0.3)
51.0
(10.6)
Average low °F (°C)18.8
(−7.3)
20.7
(−6.3)
28.2
(−2.1)
38.4
(3.6)
48.4
(9.1)
57.8
(14.3)
63.4
(17.4)
61.7
(16.5)
53.8
(12.1)
42.4
(5.8)
33.0
(0.6)
24.6
(−4.1)
40.9
(4.9)
Mean minimum °F (°C)−1
(−18)
2
(−17)
11
(−12)
26
(−3)
35
(2)
45
(7)
53
(12)
50
(10)
39
(4)
28
(−2)
18
(−8)
8
(−13)
−3
(−19)
Record low °F (°C)−26
(−32)
−24
(−31)
−6
(−21)
9
(−13)
28
(−2)
37
(3)
44
(7)
36
(2)
30
(−1)
17
(−8)
1
(−17)
−18
(−28)
−26
(−32)
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.28
(83)
3.13
(80)
3.81
(97)
3.88
(99)
3.79
(96)
4.28
(109)
4.17
(106)
4.21
(107)
4.39
(112)
4.52
(115)
3.51
(89)
4.08
(104)
47.05
(1,195)
Average snowfall inches (cm)14.2
(36)
14.8
(38)
9.4
(24)
1.1
(2.8)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.7
(1.8)
1.4
(3.6)
10.1
(26)
51.7
(131)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)10.910.511.211.512.311.810.710.49.210.59.911.5130.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)6.16.23.80.70.00.00.00.00.00.10.94.522.3
Average relative humidity (%)63.963.060.458.063.067.368.070.672.969.268.368.066.1
Average dew point °F (°C)13.6
(−10.2)
15.8
(−9.0)
23.4
(−4.8)
32.4
(0.2)
45.0
(7.2)
55.6
(13.1)
61.0
(16.1)
60.1
(15.6)
53.1
(11.7)
40.8
(4.9)
31.3
(−0.4)
19.8
(−6.8)
37.7
(3.1)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 169.8176.1213.9228.2258.6273.4293.1269.6223.6199.4139.4139.52,584.6
Percent possible sunshine 58595857576064636058474958
Average ultraviolet index 1246788864215
Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity, dew point, and sun 1961–1990) [38] [39] [40]
Source 2: Weather Atlas (UV) [41]

Neighborhoods

Springfield is divided into 17 distinct neighborhoods; in alphabetical order, they are:

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1790 1,574
1800 2,31246.9%
1810 2,76719.7%
1820 3,91441.5%
1830 6,78473.3%
1840 10,98561.9%
1850 11,7667.1%
1860 15,19929.2%
1870 26,70375.7%
1880 33,34024.9%
1890 44,17932.5%
1900 62,05940.5%
1910 88,92643.3%
1920 129,61445.8%
1930 149,90015.7%
1940 149,554−0.2%
1950 162,3998.6%
1960 174,4637.4%
1970 163,905−6.1%
1980 152,319−7.1%
1990 156,9833.1%
2000 152,082−3.1%
2010 153,0600.6%
2020 155,9291.9%
: * population estimate.
[51]
[52]

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 homeowner 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%. [53]

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). [54] Non-Hispanic Whites were 36.7% of the population in 2010, [55] down from 84.1% in 1970. [56]

Racial composition2020 [57] 2010 [55] 1990 [58] 1970 [58] 1940 [58]
White 63.3%51.8%68.5%87%97.9%
Non-Hispanic 31.2%36.7%63.6%84.1% [59]
Black or African American 20.9%22.3%19.2%3.3%2.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)45%38.8%16.9%3.3% [59]
Asian 2.7%2.4%1%0.1%

Income

Data is from the 2009–2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. [60] [61] [62]

RankZIP Code (ZCTA)Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
PopulationNumber of
households
Massachusetts $35,763$66,866$84,9006,605,0582,530,147
101128$33,573$78,864$86,9642,468964
United States $28,155$53,046$64,719311,536,594115,610,216
201129$26,752$61,435$67,0837,5052,892
Hampden County $25,817$49,094$61,474465,144177,990
301119$21,261$46,055$58,45813,9624,831
401108$18,347$34,064$35,08325,7559,348
Springfield$18,133$34,311$39,535153,42855,894
501104$17,307$32,273$39,47523,0838,884
601103$17,095$14,133$17,4572,5561,553
701151$16,169$30,043$28,4159,1343,410
801109$13,938$33,376$36,73731,4299,555
901107$12,440$21,737$29,19911,2713,920
1001105$12,137$18,402$21,34512,3604,836

Crime

In 2010, Springfield ranked 35th in the United States' City Crime Rankings—its second-lowest ranking in recent years, (in 2009, it ranked 51st). Springfield's 2010 crime rating of 142 is down approximately 50% from its heights in the late 1990s and 2000s. [63]

The Urban Land Institute stated in 2010 that "the perception of crime [in Springfield] appears to be worse than the reality". [64]

By another measure, crime and population data collected by the FBI, and indexed by NeighborhoodScout showed between 2010 and 2018 the violent crime rate for Springfield decreased by approximately 52.5%, whereas the property crime rate declined by 54%; both rates remain more than twice their respective state averages, as of 2018. [65] [66]

Economy

Distribution of Greater Springfield NECTA Labor Force (2016) [67]

  Nat'l resources & mining (1%)
  Construction (5%)
  Manufacturing (10%)
  Trade, transportation & utilities (18%)
  Information (2%)
  Finance & real estate (6%)
  Professional & business services (8%)
  Educational & health services (33%)
  Leisure & hospitality (9%)
  Other services (4%)
  Government (4%)
Top Springfield companies for 2018
(ranked by revenues)
with City and U.S. ranks
Source: Fortune 500 [68]
Spfld.CorporationUSRevenue
(in millions)
1 MassMutual 93$33,495.4
2 Eversource Energy 364$7,752
Top City Employers
Source: MA Executive Office of Labor
and Workforce Development
[69]
RankCompany/Organization
1 Baystate Medical Center
2 Smith & Wesson
3 General Dynamics
4 MassMutual
5 Mercy Medical Center
6 U.S. Postal Service
7 Big Y Foods
8 Massachusetts Trial Court
9 Springfield Republican
10 Springfield College

Springfield's vicinity to both Boston and New York City lends it a location well suited for distribution, and in the past this has played a significant role in its economy. For this reason in the early 20th century it was the largest producer in New England of commercially produced cakes and pastries, and among the largest in bread—with one 1926 estimate of 1.4 million loaves of bread and 14 million breakfast rolls produced in the city on a weekly basis. [70]

Today Springfield's top five industries (in order, by number of workers) are: Education and Health Services; Trade and Transportation; Manufacturing; Tourism and Hospitality; and Professional & Business Services. Springfield is considered to have a "mature economy", which protects the city to a degree during recessions and inhibits it somewhat during bubbles. [71] 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. As of 2006, more than 60% of Hispanic Springfielders had arrived in the city since 1986. [72] [ needs update ]

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. States. 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. [73]

In 2010, [74] 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 or over.

Business headquarters

Baystate Medical Center, Springfield MA.jpg
Smith & Wesson Mod.29.jpg
CRRC Orange Line car mockup on display at City Hall Plaza, April 2017.JPG
Hospital network Baystate Medical Center and gun maker Smith & Wesson are both headquartered in Springfield, and the largest employers in the city; CRRC MA began production in Springfield in 2018, assembling new Orange Line cars, as well as filling rail-car contracts for other US cities, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia. [75]

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' largest 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 other businesses.

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 Medicine. [76] 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. [77] In addition to Baystate, Springfield features two other nationally ranked hospitals; Mercy Medical, run by The Sisters of Providence, and Shriners Hospital for Children. The following companies maintain their headquarters in Springfield:

  • The American Hockey League: the primary development league for the NHL.
  • Baystate Health: Largest employer and healthcare provider in Western Massachusetts; 3rd largest employer in Massachusetts, constructing the $300 million "Hospital of the Future". [77]
  • 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.
  • Hampden Bank: Founded in Springfield in 1852. Headquartered in Springfield.
  • 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 Street.
  • Merriam-Webster: Publisher of the original Webster Dictionary [78]
  • 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. [79]
  • 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.

Former companies

With a history spanning nearly four centuries, Springfield has been home to a number of legacy companies that were household names, including:

Arts and culture

Cuisine

Springfield's mosaic of ethnic communities have long played a role in its culinary institutions, with many newer smaller restaurants and several decades-old establishments in its downtown. [46] Among its oldest institutions are Smith's Billiards, founded in 1902, which serves Theodore's Blues, Booze, & BBQ, a neighboring barbecue and music venue since 1979, recognized as the "Best Blues Club in the Country" in 2004 by the Blues Foundation. Other venues include The Student Prince Cafe, a long-running German restaurant at its downtown location since 1935, featured on Thrillist's 2014 Editor's Choice bars, and a wide array of long-running acclaimed Italian restaurants such as Frigo's (1950), The Red Rose (1963), and Leone's (1988) and pastry shops like La Fiorentina (1947). [81] [82]

In recent decades the city has also become home to a number of cuisines not found elsewhere in the region, including Cajun restaurant Chef Wayne's Big Mamou, [83] Lebanese restaurant Nadim's Downtown, [84] local chain Puerto Rican Bakery, [85] and a host of other Greek, Jamaican, Mexican, and Vietnamese venues. [86]

Among the best known of Springfield's eateries outside the city is Friendly's, the East Coast restaurant chain whose first store was opened by the Blake brothers as "Friendly Ice Cream" in Springfield in 1935; their original location has since closed and today the chain maintains its headquarters in the neighboring town of Wilbraham. [87]

Festivals

Museums

Edo period Japanese armor at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum Japanese Arms and Armor Gallery - George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum - DSC03522.JPG
Edo period Japanese armor at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum

Springfield is home to five distinct museums at the Quadrangle, along with the ornate Springfield City 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, an aquarium and the United States' first planetarium; the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, as Springfield is the birthplace of Theodor Geisel; and the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, a museum about the multi-faceted city. [95]

The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum was one of the Quadrangle's five museums until 2009.

In 2017 the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum opened in the former location, the William Pynchon Memorial Building. The collections of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum are now located in the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. [96] [97] [98]

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. [99]

Music

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Springfield Symphony Orchestra before concert.jpg
Springfield Symphony Orchestra

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra performs in Springfield Symphony Hall.

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 rose to national prominence. Jazz and blues rival rock in popularity. Each summer, the Springfield-headquartered 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.

Nightlife

Points of interest

Architecture

Unity Church (1869), the first commission of architect H. H. Richardson; demolished 1961. UnityChurch.jpg
Unity Church (1869), the first commission of architect H. H. Richardson; demolished 1961.
Victorian-era rowhouses SpringfieldMA MattoonStreet 2.jpg
Victorian-era rowhouses
Monarch Place as seen from Steiger Park during day, Springfield, Massachusetts.jpg
Tower Square (BayState West, MassMutual Tower), Springfield, Massachusetts.jpg
Monarch Place (left); Tower Square (right), also known as the MassMutual Tower

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 which do not feature such intricate architecture.

In Metro Center, stands the two prominent skyscrapers, Tower Square, and Monarch Place, the latter of which is the tallest building in Massachusetts outside of Boston. Many of the city's Victorian buildings including 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. [107] 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 by the 735 acres (297.4 ha) Forest Park, is a New England Garden District featuring more than 600 Victorian Painted Ladies. The McKnight National Historic District, America's first planned residential neighborhood, (1881), features more than 900 Victorian Painted Ladies, many of which have been rehabilitated by Springfield's growing 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 to the 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. [108] 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. [109]

Public library

Efforts to establish a public library began in the 1850s. [110] [111] In fiscal year 2008, the city of Springfield spent 1.13% ($5,321,151) of its budget on its public library—approximately $35 per person, per year ($46.12 adjusted for inflation to 2022). [112] In fiscal year 2009, Springfield spent about 1% ($5,077,158) of its budget on the library—approximately $32 per person, per year ($42.32 adjusted for inflation to 2022). [113] 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: [114]

Sports

MassMutual Center December 2013.jpg
Thunderbirds-Bruins.jpg
The MassMutual Center during a basketball game in 2013; Thunderbirds home game against the Providence Bruins

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 College.

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 (1978–1980) 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. Springfield is currently home to the Western Mass Zombies a minor league basketball team participating in the East Coast Basketball League. The Zombies in 2021 were named ECBL Mid-Atlantic Champions. Prior to the 2014–2015 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 2011–2012 season, the Armor was the exclusive affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. [115] 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. [116] 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 United States Basketball League (the league's inaugural champion in 1985) and the Springfield Hall of Famers of the Eastern Professional Basketball League.

Springfield has had professional baseball in the past, and according to its current mayor, remains intent on pursuing it in the future. [117] The 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 three straight 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. [118] 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" (1920–1921), "Rifles (1932, 1942–1943) and "Nationals" (1939–1941). The team located closest are the 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. [119] They are a non-profit organization which uses their roller derby games as fundraisers for groups such as Dakin Animal Shelter and the Shriners.

Parks and recreation

Barney Mausoleum in Forest Park - Springfield MA - Flickr - Rusty Clark.jpg
Connecticut River Walk Park, Springfield MA.jpg
Barry Mausoleum at Forest Park; the Connecticut River Walk

In 2010, Springfield was cited as the fourth "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. [120] 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:

Government

Springfield City Hall (1913) City Hall - Springfield, MA - DSC03296.JPG
Springfield City Hall (1913)

City of Springfield

Springfield employs a strong-mayor form of city government. Springfield's mayor is Domenic J. Sarno, who has been serving since 2008.

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 school system. [124]

Springfield's legislative body is its City Council, which features a mix of eight ward representatives—even though the city has more than twice that many neighborhoods, resulting in several incongruous "wards"—and five at-large city representatives, several of whom have served for well over a decade.

Finances

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. [125] 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). [126] The construction of MGM Springfield, which opened in 2018, fueled a number of projects in the years leading up to and after its opening, with an estimated $3 billion of new development and infrastructure spending materializing. [127]

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), [128] 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.

Judicial system

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.

Politics

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of February 1, 2017 [129]
PartyNumber of VotersPercentage
Democratic 53,41651.24%
Republican 7,9527.63%
Unaffiliated41,64339.95%
Libertarian 1,2301.18%
Total104,241100%

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 two fifths of the city's population.

Springfield, like all municipalities in Massachusetts, is subject to limited home rule municipal power. The current city charter, in effect since 1959, uses a "strong mayor" government with most power concentrated in the mayor, as in 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. [130]

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.

Springfield is heavily Democratic. In the 2020 US Presidential Election Democrat Joe Biden received 72.4 percent of the vote to Republican Donald Trump's 25.7 percent. [131]

Switch to ward representation

Springfield City Councilors 2018–2019 [132] [133] [134] [135]
  • Justin J. Hurst: At-Large
  • Jesse L. Lederman: At-Large
  • Sean Curran: At-Large
  • Kateri Walsh: At-Large
  • Tracye Whitfield: At-Large (Vice President)
  • Gumersindo Gomez: Ward 1
  • Michael Fenton: Ward 2
  • Melvin Edwards: Ward 3
  • Malo Brown: Ward 4
  • Marcus Williams: Ward 5 (President)
  • Victor Davila: Ward 6
  • Tim Allen: Ward 7
  • Orlando Ramos: Ward 8

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 changing the 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.

State and federal representation

The State Representatives are Orlando Ramos, Carlos González, Bud Williams, and Angelo Puppolo. The State Senator is Adam Gomez.

Richard Neal represents United States House of Representatives, Massachusetts District 1, and Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey represent Springfield in the Federal Senate.

Education

Central Branch of Springfield City Library Springfield City Library, Central Branch.jpg
Central Branch of Springfield City Library

Grade schools

The Springfield Plan for citizenship education drew national attention in the 1940s for its efforts to combat racism.

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. In June 2015, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced $3.2 million in grants to three underperforming middle schools in Springfield. [136]

Private schools

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. [137] The non-denominational 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 school, the Pioneer Valley Christian Academy, is located in the suburban Sixteen Acres neighborhood of the city. [138] Two nonsectarian private schools are also located in Springfield: Commonwealth Academy [139] 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, [140] 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 include the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts; Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Suffield Academy in Suffield, Connecticut.

Higher education

Universities and colleges

The 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. This includes two college consortia, the Five Colleges, and the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, whose member institutions often collaborate in greater outreach programs. Within 16 miles (26 km) of Springfield's Metro Center, there are 18 universities and liberal arts colleges, which enroll approximately 100,000 students. [141]

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 program. UMass Amherst relocated its urban design center graduate program to Court Square in Metro Center. [142]

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. [143]

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.

Community colleges

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 is the only polytechnic community college in Massachusetts, and was founded to continue Springfield's tradition of technical innovation. [144]

Holyoke Community College, 8 miles (13 km) north of Springfield, offers more traditional community college programming in Greater Springfield, as well as instruction in the culinary arts.

Media

Headquarters and printing facilities of The Republican The Republican Building, Springfield, Massachusetts.jpg
Headquarters and printing facilities of The Republican

Newspapers

Springfield's largest local newspaper is The Republican , which has also previously been known as the Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican, from when it merged with the Springfield Union. Smaller papers such as The Reminder [145] and the Valley Advocate also serve Greater Springfield.

Other newspapers serve specific communities of interest, such as El Pueblo Latino and El Sol Latino , which serve the Hispanic community, as well as Unity First and the AfAm Point of View, [146] both of which serve the African-American community, and The Rainbow Times, which serves Springfield's LGBT community.

Television

Springfield has a long history of broadcast television, including two of the oldest UHF television stations on the air today.

Channel (digital/virtual)Call signNetworkOwner
11/22 WWLP NBC/CW (through The CW Plus) (DT2)
Ion Television (DT3)
Nexstar Media Group
21/3.5 WSHM-LD CBS Gray Television
13/57 WGBY PBS WGBH Educational Foundation
Operated by New England Public Media
21/22 WFXQ-CD NBC++ Nexstar Media Group
34 WTXX-LD Independent Tyche Broadcasting
40 WGGB ABC, FOX/MyNetworkTV (DT2) Gray Television
43 WHTX-LP Univision Entravision Communications

++WFXQ-CD rebroadcasts WWLP.

Cable operators

Springfield proper is serviced exclusively by Comcast cable. Springfield was formerly wired with a "dual plant" cable system from 1980 until 2001, requiring an A/B switch for each home to watch programming and complicating VCR recordings.

Radio

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. [147]

Callsign FrequencyCity/townNetwork affiliation / ownerFormat
WFCR 88.5 FMSpringfield [148] University of Massachusetts Amherst Public Radio
WSKB 89.5 FMWestfield Westfield State University College Radio
WSCB 89.9 FMSpringfield Springfield College College Radio
WTCC 90.7 FMSpringfield Springfield Technical Community College Public Radio
WAIC 91.9 FMSpringfield American International College College Radio
WWYZ 92.5 FM Waterbury, Connecticut iHeartMedia Country
WHYN-FM 93.1 FMSpringfield iHeartMedia Hot Adult Contemporary (Top 40 on HD2)
WMAS-FM 94.7 FM Enfield, Connecticut Entercom Adult contemporary (Country on HD2)
WLZX-FM 99.3 FMNorthamptonSaga Communications of New England"Everything That Rocks"
WLCQ-LP 99.7 FMFeeding HillsLighthouse Christian CenterChristian Rock/Pop Music, "The Q"
WRNX 100.9 FMAmherst iHeartMedia Country
WAQY 102.1 FMSpringfieldSaga Communications of New England Classic rock
WCCH 103.5 FM Holyoke Holyoke Community College College Radio
WNEK-FM 105.1 FMSpringfield Western New England University College Radio
WWEI 105.5 FMEasthampton/Springfield Entercom Sports Talk (simulcast of WEEI-FM in Boston)
WEIB 106.3 FM Northampton/SpringfieldCutting Edge Broadcasting Smooth Jazz
WHYN 560 AMSpringfield iHeartMedia News/Talk
WNNZ 640 AMWestfield University of Massachusetts Amherst Public Radio (programmed by WFCR)
WACE 730 AM Chicopee Carter Broadcasting CorporationReligious
WARE 1250 AM Ware Success Signal Broadcasting Oldies
WACM 1270 AMSpringfieldDavidson Media Group Spanish
WHLL 1450 AMSpringfield Entercom Sports Radio (CBS Sports Radio affiliate)
WSPR 1490 AMSpringfield Davidson Media Group Spanish

Infrastructure

Transportation

Union Station is used for bus, Amtrak, and commuter rail service Springfield Union Station, July 2016.jpg
Union Station is used for bus, Amtrak, and commuter rail service

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.[ citation needed ] 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 I-91.

Rail

Springfield Union Station, originally opened in 1926 and re-opened in 2017, is served by five Amtrak intercity routes: the Vermonter , which runs from Washington, D.C. to St. Albans, Vermont; the Lake Shore Limited , which runs from Chicago to Boston; the Hartford Line , which runs from Springfield to New Haven; the Valley Flyer , which runs from New Haven to Greenfield; and the Northeast Regional , which runs from Springfield to D.C./Virginia. Amtrak relocated its operations into Union Station proper from their previous track side station building in June 2019. A high level train platform is under construction to improve the experience for rail passengers and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2019.

CTRail's Hartford Line started operating from Union Station in June 2018, with Springfield as the northern terminus. Trains operate to New Haven, CT with multiple stops in Connecticut along the way. The line shares the same route and station listing as the Amtrak route of the same name, and the two are operated in conjunction as a commuter rail service for the region.

The New Haven–Springfield Line was upgraded in conjunction with the launch of the Hartford Line service. The project received funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Federal Government, and the State of Connecticut. Amtrak trains on the route between New Haven and Springfield reach speeds of 110 mph (177 km/h).

In 2011, Springfield Union Station started a $70 million renovation to become an intermodal transportation facility, allowing Peter Pan Bus, Greyhound Bus, and the PVTA to occupy a modern space next to the renovated Union Station. [149] It was completed in June 2017.

There are no major freight yards in Springfield proper, but Connecticut Southern Railroad and CSX serve CSX's West Springfield yard across the Connecticut River.

Bus

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) is based in Springfield and uses Union Station as its Springfield hub, next to the Gothic arch that denotes the entrance to downtown Springfield. The PVTA operates nineteen bus routes from Union Station. The PVTA's Springfield service area includes Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Westfield, West Springfield, Ludlow, Agawam, and East Longmeadow. With transfers, it is possible to travel into PVTA's northern service area, which includes Northampton, Amherst, and Easthampton.

Intercity bus service is provided by Peter Pan Bus Lines and Greyhound Lines, both of which operate from Union Station. They provide service to destinations across the northeast United States.

Air

Springfield is primarily served by Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, 12 miles (19 km) south of downtown. It features over 100 daily departures to 30 destinations on nine airlines. [150] It is also the primary airport for Hartford.

Other regional airports serving Springfield include:

Cycling and walking

Taken in its entirety, Springfield has a moderate Walk Score of 59, [151] however walkability varies between neighborhoods. Whereas the suburban neighborhood of Sixteen Acres is largely car-dependent with a score of 30, and Indian Orchard has a somewhat walkable rating of 54, the Metro Center area, with its grid central to stores, residences, and businesses, yields a Walk Score of 82. [152] [153] [154]

The city's Connecticut River Walk Park offers a largely uninterrupted bike route from the North to South End, and is part of a broader plan by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to create a continuous route alongside the Connecticut River from Agawam to Holyoke, with construction and planning ongoing. [155]

The city recently partnered with Bewegen [156] (an e-bike share system provider) to install e-bike share stations in both Springfield [157] and West Springfield. [158]

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. [159]

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–Russell 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. [160]

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. [160]

Emergency services

The Springfield Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the city, and is one of the oldest fire departments in the United States. [161]

Notable people

Notable musical artists

Sister cities

See also

Notes

  1. While both demonyms are listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 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 Ohio." [11]
  2. Combined statistical areas (CSAs) as defined by the US Census.
  3. 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 1991 to 2020.
  4. Official records for Hartford kept at downtown from January 1905 to December 1948, Brainard Airport from January 1949 to December 1954, and at Bradley Int'l in Windsor Locks since January 1955. [37]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hampden County, Massachusetts</span> County in Massachusetts, United States

Hampden County is a non-governmental county located in the Pioneer Valley of the state of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2020 census, Hampden County's population was 465,825. Its traditional county seat is Springfield, the Connecticut River Valley's largest city, and economic and cultural capital; with an estimated population of 154,758, approximately 1 in 3 residents of Hampden County live in Springfield. Hampden County was split from Hampshire County in 1812, because Northampton, Massachusetts, was made Hampshire County's "shire town" in 1794; however, Springfield—theretofore Hampshire County's traditional shire town, dating back to its founding in 1636—grew at a pace far quicker than Northampton and was granted shire town-status over its own, southerly jurisdiction. It was named for parliamentarian John Hampden. To the north of Hampden County is modern-day Hampshire County; to the west is Berkshire County; to the east is Worcester County; to the south are Litchfield County, Hartford County, and Tolland County in Connecticut. Hampden County is part of the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the most urban county in Western Massachusetts. The Knowledge Corridor surrounding Springfield-Hartford is New England's second most populous urban area with 1.9 million people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interstate 91</span> Interstate Highway in the U.S. states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont

Interstate 91 (I-91) is an Interstate Highway in the New England region of the United States. It provides the primary north–south thoroughfare in the western part of the region. The Interstate generally follows the course of the Connecticut River. Its southern terminus is in New Haven, Connecticut, at Interstate 95. The northern terminus is in the village of Derby Line, Vermont, at the Canadian border. Past the Derby Line–Rock Island Border Crossing, the road continues as Quebec Autoroute 55. I-91 is the longest of three Interstate highways whose entire route is located within the New England states and is also the only primary (two-digit) Interstate Highway in New England to intersect all five of the other highways that run through the region. The largest cities along its route are New Haven, Connecticut; Hartford, Connecticut; Springfield, Massachusetts; Northampton, Massachusetts; Greenfield, Massachusetts; Brattleboro, Vermont; White River Junction, Vermont; and St. Johnsbury, Vermont in order from south to north.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chicopee, Massachusetts</span> City in Massachusetts, United States

Chicopee is a city located on the Connecticut River in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 55,560, making it the second-largest city in Western Massachusetts after Springfield. Chicopee is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The communities of Chicopee Center (Cabotville), Chicopee Falls, Willimansett, Fairview, Aldenville, Burnett Road, Smith Highlands and Westover are located within the city.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Holyoke, Massachusetts</span> City in Massachusetts, United States

Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States, that lies between the western bank of the Connecticut River and the Mount Tom Range. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 38,238. Located 8 miles (13 km) north of Springfield, Holyoke is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in Massachusetts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pioneer Valley</span> Massachusetts portion of the Connecticut River Valley, US

The Pioneer Valley is the colloquial and promotional name for the portion of the Connecticut River Valley that is in Massachusetts in the United States. It is generally taken to comprise the three counties of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin. The lower Pioneer Valley corresponds to the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan area, the region's urban center, and the seat of Hampden County. The upper Pioneer Valley region includes the smaller cities of Northampton and Greenfield, the county seats of Hampshire and Franklin counties, respectively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Springfield Armory</span> National Historic Site of the United States

The Springfield Armory, more formally known as the United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield located in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, was the primary center for the manufacture of United States military firearms from 1777 until its closing in 1968. It was the first federal armory and one of the first factories in the United States dedicated to the manufacture of weapons. The site is preserved as the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Western Massachusetts' only unit of the national park system. It features the world's largest collection of historic American firearms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Western Massachusetts</span> Region of Massachusetts, United States

Western Massachusetts, known colloquially as “Western Mass,” is a region in Massachusetts, one of the six U.S. states that make up the New England region of the United States. Western Massachusetts has diverse topography; 22 colleges and universities, with approximately 100,000 students; and such institutions as Tanglewood, the Springfield Armory, and Jacob's Pillow.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest Park (Springfield, Massachusetts)</span>

Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts, is one of the largest urban, municipal parks in the United States, covering 735 acres (297 ha) of land overlooking the Connecticut River. Forest Park features a zoo, aquatic gardens, and outdoor amphitheater, in addition to design elements like winding wooded trails, and surprising, expansive views. The site of America's first public, municipal swimming pool, currently, during the holiday months Forest Park hosts a popular high-tech lighting display, known as Bright Nights. Contrary to popular belief, the park was not designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hartford–Springfield</span> Conurbation in the United States

The greater Hartford–Springfield area is an urban region and surrounding suburban areas that encompasses both north-central Connecticut and the southern Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts; its major city centers are Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest Park, Springfield, Massachusetts</span> United States historic place

Forest Park is a Victorian garden district located in Springfield, Massachusetts, developed between 1880 and 1920. It is the city's most populous neighborhood, and surrounds the 735-acre Forest Park, for which the neighborhood is named. The Forest Park neighborhood has nature and recreation within walking distance. To the west, I-91 separates Forest Park from the Connecticut River. A 195-acre section of the neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as the Forest Park Heights Historic District.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metro Center, Springfield, Massachusetts</span>

Metro Center is the original colonial settlement of Springfield, Massachusetts, located beside a bend in the Connecticut River. As of 2019, Metro Center features a majority of Western Massachusetts' most important cultural, business, and civic venues. Metro Center includes Springfield's Central Business District, its Club Quarter, its government center, its convention headquarters, and in recent years, it has become an increasingly popular residential district, especially among young professionals, empty-nesters, and creative types, with a population of approximately 7,000 (2010.)

Watershops Pond is a lake in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Located in the Upper Hill neighborhood, it is the city's second-largest body of water, after the Connecticut River. Watershops Pond features 7 miles of shorelines and 186 acres. It was a major site for fishing, featuring species ranging from Black Crappie, Bluegill, Brown Trout, Chain Pickerel, Channel Catfish, Common Carp, Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed, Rainbow Trout, and Yellow Bass. The city after multiple lowering of the dam draining the pins for lengthy periods had destroyed the habitat. Not only had it decimated the fish population leaving primarily pumpkinseed, calico bass, and carp. The pond was formed by damming the Mill River, which flows out of the westernmost end and continues 1.25 miles until its confluence with the Connecticut River.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Connecticut River Walk Park</span> Park and bikeway in Springfield, Massachusetts

The Connecticut River Walk is partially constructed park and bikeway in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States, along the banks of New England's largest river, the Connecticut River. Currently, Springfield's section of this park is 3.7 miles (6 km) long, running from Chicopee, Massachusetts to the South End Bridge in Springfield, Massachusetts. Unusual features of the trail include its path alongside an active train line, making it a "rail-with-trail," and its passing in very close proximity to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The longest river in New England, the Connecticut River is the Knowledge Corridor's most prominent natural asset. For centuries it has been a source of regional identity and pride; however, currently most residents are cut off from it by Interstate 91 - a 1960s-era elevated highway, which has become a major inhibitor to Springfield's economic and recreational riverfront growth, especially in recent years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neighborhoods in Springfield, Massachusetts</span>

The City of Springfield, Massachusetts, has 19 distinct neighborhoods. Many feature subdivisions known by other names, such as The X, Hungry Hill, and Mason Square. Springfield's neighborhoods fan out north, south, and east, from its original, colonial settlement in what is now Metro Center.

The Mill River is a 1.25-mile (2.01 km) long tributary of the Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts. It flows from Watershops Pond to its confluence with the Connecticut River. It is referred to as "The Miracle Mile" in a 2009 master's thesis that outlines possibilities for reclaiming the river's mouth as a recreational area. As of 2011, the final 350 feet (110 m) of the river, including its mouth, is confined in a pipe underneath Interstate 91, railroad tracks and a car dealership. Many Springfield residents have bemoaned the loss of the Mill River as a recreational area, and hope to gain greater access to both it and Connecticut Rivers in upcoming years. As it has for over a century, today the Mill River serves as a barrier between Springfield neighborhoods. Surrounding it are some of the most densely urbanized locations in Springfield.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Springfield, Massachusetts</span> Aspect of history

The history of Springfield, Massachusetts dates back to the colonial period, when it was founded in 1636 as Agawam Plantation, named after a nearby village of Algonkian-speaking Native Americans. It was the northernmost settlement of the Connecticut Colony. The settlement defected from Connecticut after four years, however, later joining forces with the coastal Massachusetts Bay Colony. The town changed its name to Springfield, and changed the political boundaries among what later became the states of New England. The decision to establish a settlement sprang in large part from its favorable geography, situated on a steep bluff overlooking the Connecticut River's confluence with three tributaries. It was a Native American crossroad for two major trade routes: Boston-to-Albany and New York City-to-Montreal. Springfield also sits on some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Smith's Ferry, Holyoke, Massachusetts</span> Neighborhood of Holyoke in Massachusetts, United States

Smith's Ferry is a neighborhood in Holyoke, Massachusetts, United States, located to the north of the city center, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown. The neighborhood prominently features the Mount Tom State Reservation, as well as the Mountain Park Amphitheater, the Dinosaur Footprints Reservation, and several other recreational and historic venues. Smith's Ferry is the second largest geographic division in Holyoke after Rock Valley, comprising roughly 3,800 acres (1,500 ha) of mixed residential, commercial, and recreational zoning.

The City of Springfield, Massachusetts has two official symbols, and is also often represented by depictions of the Municipal Group as a de facto emblem of its government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ingleside, Holyoke, Massachusetts</span> Neighborhood of Holyoke in Massachusetts, United States

Ingleside is a neighborhood in Holyoke, Massachusetts located to the south of the city center, approximately 2 miles from downtown. The neighborhood features access to the Connecticut River through the Sue Ellen Panitch River Center and the Land of Providence reservation. Ingleside is also home to the Holyoke Mall, the Nuestras Raices farm, the Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, the Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, and several recreational and historical venues.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Springdale, Holyoke, Massachusetts</span> Neighborhood of Holyoke in Massachusetts, United States

Springdale is a neighborhood in Holyoke, Massachusetts located to the south of the city center, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from downtown, on the banks of the Connecticut River. The neighborhood features Springdale Park, originally known as Riverside Park, which was designed by the influential Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm, as well as light industry and machine shops, residential housing, and the central supply warehouse of Holyoke Public Schools. The mixed zoning neighborhood was developed as a streetcar suburb by brickmaker John J. Prew, who gave the area its name and devised the first street plans and building lots for the area in 1887 as housing for millworkers of South Holyoke. Since 1984, Springdale Park has hosted the city's annual Western Massachusetts Puerto Rican Parade, a three-day annual event in June celebrating the city's Latin culture and music.

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