Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Executive Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management (PBRM) Patrick Sullivan, Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tim Sheehan, Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, Governor Baker’s Western Massachusetts Director Patrick Carnevale, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums Kay Simpson, Springfield Public Library Director Molly Fogarty, Executive Director of the Springfield Cultural Partnership Karen Finn, Executive Director for the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID) Chris Russell, and Attorney Melina Phelps from Bulkley Richardson for the reopening of Pynchon Plaza on Dwight Street.
The renovations of Pynchon Plaza, which connects Dwight Street to Chestnut Street, was the Sarno Administrations main capital project to connect the world class Museums and Library to downtown. The newly renovated plaza/park is fully ADA accessible and provides an attractive pedestrian connection from the lower section of the park in downtown to the upper section of the park adjacent to our work renowned Springfield Library and Museum Quadrangle. The Pynchon Plaza completes the major renovations in the immediate area, which includes the construction of the Springfield Police Department Metro substation. The $4 million project was funded by a $3.5 million grant from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development with the City of Springfield funding $500,000 for the project. The designer for the project was Copley Wolff Design Group. The contractor was D.A. Sullivan & Sons, Inc.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I want to thank my dedicated city team for their continued efforts working on this vital renovation project. I especially want to thank Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito for their continued support and belief in our Springfield. Without their help and state funding, this project would have never moved along the way it did. This brings new life to our downtown area, especially being able to connect our downtown with the world famous Dr. Seuss Museum and our beautiful Quadrangle area. This project completes the total renovation of this park/plaza area where we have already constructed the Springfield Police Departments Metro substation to further enhance the area.”
Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello asserted, “The restoration of Pynchon Plaza is an exciting venture and is another example of the community becoming involved with the park system in efforts to preserve Springfield’s open space.” Mr. Santaniello praised the Museums and Related Companies for offering their assistance during the design of this park.
Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan stated, “The Springfield Park Department is grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Springfield Museums, the Planning and Economic Development Department, the Department of Capital Asset Construction, and Related Properties for their roles in ensuring the successful restoration of Pynchon Plaza in downtown Springfield. This plaza is a now a safe and attractive connection for our Museums with the metro area. This initiative is complimented by the extensive renovations of the apartments to the immediate north and south of Pynchon Plaza by our neighbor, Related Properties.”
Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey said, “The creative design will offer opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the open space concept developed for the Dwight Street entrance. The overall design will be further enhanced with attractive landscape elements and lighting throughout the park. Well-lit in the evening, this park will be accessible to patrons at all times.”
President of Springfield Museums Kay Simpson stated, “The long awaited redesign and re-opening of Pynchon Plaza will have a profound impact on the Springfield Museums. Not only will it result in a beautiful park that will showcase the work of local and regional artists, it will provide downtown visitors with easy access to the Quadrangle Museums and Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. In addition, it will enable the Museums to collaborate with the Thunderbirds and MassMutual on partnership programming and cross-promotion. The Museums appreciate the efforts of the Mayor, city officials, Parks Department, and Related Companies to fulfill the original vision of Pynchon Plaza through this major public works initiative.”
Related Affordable Vice Chairman Jeff Brodsky stated, “Related Affordable is proud to partner with Mayor Sarno and the City of Springfield to reinvigorate and revitalize Pynchon Park. This project is a key piece of the renaissance of the City of Firsts and sits at the keystone intersection of Springfield connecting the best of live, work and play in downtown. We look forward to continuing to build on the vision of the Mayor over the next few months as we complete our renovation of nearly 500 affordable and workforce apartments and retail space at Skyview Downtown adjacent to this incredible park.”
Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan states, “The redevelopment of Pynchon Park will restore the much needed connection between Main Street and the Quadrangle’s rich cultural assets. Cities often are defined by the experiences people have with urban spaces, such as this. The ability of pocket parks and the public realm to transform perceptions and bring neighborhoods and people together is significant and therefore remains an important component of the City’s economic development agenda.”
“Over the next six months, the Park Department will be working with the Springfield Museums and the Springfield Cultural Partnership to display outdoor art throughout the plaza. Copley Wolff Design Group did a remarkable job in the layout of the new plaza and selected artists will have a wonderful venue to display their creative work,” said Director of PBRM Sullivan. “Their artwork will create an inviting atmosphere and offer both residents and visitors a pleasurable experience when they visit or pass through the plaza.”