Last 4 out west

Ludlow Town Office Building – 11:30 AM

  • Last trip to the western part of the state, to finish the last 4 towns out there. Hot, humid day. Already 85′.
  • 1974 brick 2-story building in good condition. It is not downtown, but part of a large campus of the high school and playing fields.
  • The roof is marred by a large tin vent stack. Either someone put in a wood stove, or this place has some kind of septic issue:)

Wilbraham Town Hall – 1:20 PM

  • 1-story rambling brick building, built in 1978. Huge front lawn.
  • All the war memorials and the original meeting house are back in the center of town.
  • It’s interesting that as you drive around this part of the state, but outside of the official 2011 tornado track, you keep bumping into significant storm damage. There is one of them behind the rear parking lot at the town hall, a 100′ blow down in the forest from a micro-burst.

Springfield City Hall – 2:30 PM

  • The new city hall was built in 1913, along with the Campanile clock tower and the municipal auditorium. The city hall and the auditorium are almost exactly the same, with huge Corinthian columns in the front of the Greek temple. The 3 buildings are collectively known as the ‘Municipal Group’.
  • But up close, the buildings are showing a lot of decay. Many of the bronze plaques and some decorative statues are missing from their niches and pedestals, the Corinthian capitals are covered in heavy pigeon netting and the entire plaza surrounding the tower is fenced off because of falling limestone. The city website claims they started significant renovations in 2006, but you would be hard pressed to see any progress.
  • Across the street, the McKinley monument is bizarre. There is some kind of greek goddess spread across the front, reaching up towards the president above. Problem is the goddess and her palm fronds are covering up most of the bronze plaque that describes the president. Have to wonder what the citizens of Springfield thought when the statue was unveiled in 1908. It was originally located in a park far from downtown, then moved to city hall.

South Hadley Town Hall – 3:11 PM

  • 1917 brick 3-story building, with cement trim. Might have originally been a school.
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