698,903 in metro
698,903 in metro
Springfield is located on the Connecticut River about 90 miles (140 km) southwest of Boston and about 30 miles (48 km) north of Hartford. It is a center of finance, industry, commerce, education, and culture for the western part of the state. Superlatives in the city's history include: Shays's Rebellion of 1787, an early challenge to US government authority; establishment of the first federal US armory in 1794; invention of basketball by
Joseph Naismith in 1891; first successful trial run of a gasoline-powered automobile (the Duryea) in the USA in 1893; and birth of popular children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) in 1904.
European settlement began in 1636, when English colonists led by William Pynchon bought land here from the Agawam Indians. Industrial growth was spurred by the armory in the late 1790's and by the coming of the railroad in 1839. By the 1850's, Springfield had become a major railroad center and had been chartered as a city (1852).
Construction of 1200 Main Street in 1907-08 caused an outcry which led to a state law limiting commercial building height to 125' - height of the steeple of the Old First Church. As a consequence, Springfield did not develop a skyline of tall commercial buildings in the pre-WWII styles of neo-classicism or art deco. The height limit was not breached until 1970 with construction of the Baystate West tower. Several major downtown projects followed in the 1970's and 1980's, creating an impressive modern skyline accented by the Campanile tower of 1913.
|1||Monarch Place||400 ft||1989|
|2||Tower Square||370 ft||1970|
|3||Chestnut Park||290 ft||1974|
|4||1350 Main Street||230 ft||1983|
|5||295 Worthington Street||132 ft||1926|