ICONIC SIGHTS OF DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD

 In Attractions

It’s time to rediscover downtown, safely. Take advantage of these last few weeks of warm summer days and nights and take in all the iconic and historic sights of downtown. Here’s a few iconic sites we’ve rounded up that are definitely worth a walk around downtown and for your instagram. Please keep your distance, wear your mask, and stay home if you’re feeling unwell!

SPRINGFIELD ARMORY

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Springfield Armory National Historic Site

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Beginning August 28, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, in coordination with Springfield Technical Community College, will begin offering ranger guided tours of the historic grounds on Fridays at 11:00 a.m., weather permitting. Tours will be limited to 10 and pre-registration is required via the park website www.nps.gov/spar  or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sparnhs. As tours take place on state and federal property, Springfield Technical Community College requires attendees to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed to the public at this time:

  • Springfield Armory museum and visitor center
  • All public restrooms
  • Park grounds
  • All Springfield Technical Community College buildings

UNION STATION

 

As in most stories it’s best to start at the beginning. On December 19, 1926, an estimated 30,000 people toured Opening Day of Union Station. The new facility with its gleaming terrazzo floors, had a restaurant, lunch counter, barbershop, shoeshine parlor and small shops to service hundreds of daily passengers who boarded up to 130 trains every 24 hours.

The new station was Springfield’s fourth. The link from Worcester to Springfield opened in October of 1839. In that month, the directors of the railroad hired George Washington Whistler, father of the famous painter, to lead the effort to push over the Berkshires and connect with Albany. By March of 1844 the work was complete and Springfield was at the crossroads of rail traffic for the next 125 years.

HIPPODROME/PARAMOUNT THEATER

Did you know the Hippodrome, formerly known as The Paramount Theater, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979? Although it’s been closed for a few years, it’s still cool to look at and take pictures of. We’ll see what the future has in store for this place.

DURYEA WAY

Duryea Way serves as a gateway between Union Station on Frank B. Murray Street and Stearns Square and the downtown. The recently renovated park gives way to the Duryea Brothers. On September 20, 1893, the Duryea brothers’ first automobile was constructed and successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. Charles Duryea founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1896, the first company to manufacture and sell gasoline-powered vehicles.

 

 

SMITH’S BILLIARDS

Smith’s is currently open Fridays and Saturday’s, 5pm – 10pm. Serving full menu from Theo’s until 9pm. Unfortunately no table games until phase 4.

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Founded in 1902 by Fred Smith as a billiard academy, Smith’s has withstood the test of time as the region’s oldest and best known Billiards Hall.

Smith’s celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary over a decade ago, and is still going strong.  The pool hall caters to pool players of all ability levels, from those who can run a table, to those not really sure which end of the cue to use.  Young and old alike frequent this historic spot.  Who remembers “Spotball” Charlie, Louis Goldberg, “Big Jack” Serafini, Howard “The Fireman” Knight, Willie “Georgia Boy” Bailey, Louis Richards, baseball star Leo Durocher, George Clark, and of course Jimmy “Springfield Rifle” Relihan?

 

 

FRESH PAINT MURALS

CITY HALL

 

 

 

 

Want to nominate an iconic site that’s not on here? Email bridget@springfielddowntown.com 

 

 

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