Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management Patrick J. Sullivan, Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey, Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, President of Springfield Museums Kay Simpson, and President of Related Beal Kim Sherman-Stamler announced that the Pynchon Plaza renovation project is slated for public bid.
Mayor Sarno has approved plans for the renovation of Pynchon Plaza and has submitted the plans to the Springfield Park Commission for their approval at their January 24th meeting. The four million dollar renovation, made possible by a grant from MassWorks and funding from the City of Springfield, includes a new staircase connecting Chestnut Street to Dwight Street, a new ADA elevator, as well as plantings, lighting, security cameras and outdoor space that will complement the proposed improvements being completed by Related Companies, which owns the two adjacent properties to Pynchon Plaza. Adding a level of comfort and security, the Springfield Police Department has opened a substation at the Dwight Street entrance to the park. The substation build out was completed by Related Companies with build out costs totaling $750,000.
Mayor Sarno stated, "The renovation of Pynchon Plaza sends a strong message that the City of Springfield is working in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to secure the resources necessary to preserve our downtown area. We are excited for this opportunity to bridge our world-class Museums to downtown, and the proposed improvements will be an important welcoming gateway.” The Mayor credits the Planning Department, Park Department, the Museums and Related Companies in working collaboratively to revitalize this park.
Mayor Sarno thanked Related Companies for their continued generous support during the design phase and Kay Simpson for her offer to provide seasonal art displays and programming at opportune times throughout the year. A recent Urban Land Institute study recommended to rebuild the park and noted its importance to act as an anchor for the Quadrangle and downtown businesses. The Mayor added, “We owe it to the residents of downtown, our visitors and the general public to properly maintain this property. This park will offer an aesthetic, tranquil venue and show visitors we care about our great city.”
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 Park Department is grateful to Mayor Sarno, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Brian Connors of the Planning and Economic Development Department for their roles in securing the funds to renovate this park. Pynchon Plaza will once again serve as a gateway to the Museums and offer the abutting residents passive recreational opportunities. The design will offer the Museums the opportunity to showcase upcoming events and share ‘Art in the Park’ and will be welcoming to all with a pedestrian friendly staircase and ADA access to both Chestnut and Dwight Streets.”
Director of Capital Asset 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 Related Beal Kim Sherman-Stamler stated, “Congratulations and thank you to the Sarno Administration and MassWorks for their ongoing commitment to downtown Springfield. In alignment with the City, we are dedicated to supporting the communities that our residents call home. We look forward to the reopening of Pynchon Plaza, which will connect the financial and cultural centers of downtown and improve the everyday lives of our residents and neighbors.”
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.”