The Springfield Preservation Trust (SPT) will hold its 50th Annual Meeting at the former Willys-Overland building at 151-157 Chestnut Street on February 26, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be open to SPT members and the public and will feature an overview of the past year, election of the board of directors, and the announcement of the 2023 Most Endangered Historic Resources List.
Springfield Preservation Trust celebrated its 50th Anniversary in the past year and logged multiple key accomplishments in the realms of educational programming, advocacy, and community engagement, including:
- Advocating for the preservation of Springfield’s former Isolation Complex at 1400-1414 State Street, resulting in its addition to Preservation Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resource Program, and the start to the creation of the Isolation Hospital Local Historic District by the Springfield Historic Commission
- Successful advocacy for an ordinance amendment to the definition of “Preferably Preserved Building” to define such properties as 75 years—rather than 100 years—or older, improving historic preservation and demolition delay guidelines
- Execution of the “Fifty Years of Promoting and Advocating for Springfield’s Historic Places” exhibit at the Springfield Museums’ Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
- Record attendance across eight walking tours and four virtual lectures
- Hosting our 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Carriage House at The Barney in Forest Park
Among the highlights at the Annual Meeting will be the unveiling of SPT’s Most Endangered Historic Resources List, which highlights historic properties in immediate danger of demolition or disrepair. The purpose of this list is to make public notice of important properties worth saving, through actions such as advocacy or redevelopment. SPT’s hope is that individuals or organizations experienced or interested in historic preservation will take interest in acquiring and restoring these iconic and important properties, which add character and vibrancy to our city.
Speeches at the Annual Meeting will include:
- Year in Review, by President Derek Strahan
- Introducing the 2023 Most Endangered List, by Kira Holmes
- The Year Ahead, by President-Elect Erica Swallow & Vice President-Elect James Johnson
- Historic Preservation & Redevelopment in Springfield, by Charles Irving, President of Davenport Companies
Attendees must pre-register by February 24 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historic preservationists interested in learning more about, acquiring, or providing information regarding the properties on SPT’s Most Endangered List can contact the Trust at email@example.com.
About the Springfield Preservation Trust
Founded in 1972, the Springfield Preservation Trust strives to preserve and protect properties in Springfield that have architectural or historic significance. As the only non-profit, non-government advocacy group for historic preservation in Springfield, the Trust will continue to be the voice of preservation into the future. To learn more, visit our website at springfieldpreservation.org.
About the Willys-Overland Building
The Willys-Overland Building—located at 151-157 Chestnut Street—was built in 1916 for the Willys-Overland Motor Company. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983 for its connection to Springfield’s early automotive history. The building was neglected for many years and then was damaged by the November 2012 Gas Explosion, but the Willys-Overland Local Historic District was created in 2015. Davenport Advisors—a state-certified minority owned business based in Boston and Springfield and specializing in redevelopment of underutilized or abandoned historic buildings—renovated the building in 2019, in a $14.5 million development of 60 market rate residential units with ground level retail space. Today, the residential units are fully occupied. For its work in historic preservation excellence, Davenport Advisors received a Springfield Preservation Trust Preservation Award in 2021.
Use of the Willys-Overland Building for the Springfield Preservation Trust’s 2023 Annual Meeting is donated by Davenport Advisors.