MGM Springfield presents historic site proposal - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

MGM Springfield presents historic site proposal

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It's a historic site in the South End: The State Armory. The front of the building dates back to 1895. The back was added in 1914.

MGM Springfield presented their proposal about the site today. They've chosen to preserve the front head house and towers. But the rear won't be saved. It's a decision that Ralph Slate saw coming. 

"MGM basically went in and said they don't have any plans to reuse, that they're going to demolish and I think that Massachusetts Historic at that point accepted their explanation," said Ralph Slate, Chairperson of the Springfield Historical Commission. 

The building was damaged after the 2011 tornado.

"There were three portions, and the first portion was demolished as a result of the tornado in 2011. So, the middle portion, which is what we're calling the rear portion now, it's really a third of the building."

Slate says their concern is that the building could lose its status on the National Register of Historic Places if the rear portion is demolished.

"We recognize that it's not the most architecturally pleasing feature of the whole campus, but we thought it would be the easiest of the items to preserve and MGM did not agree with that."

Officials say they were unable to find a plan for the back of the building that made sense.
"We want to thank the Massachusetts Historical Commission for working with our team to help us ensure that the MGM Springfield design strikes the right balance between Springfield's rich history and hopeful economic future," said MGM Springfield spokesperson Carole Brennan. 

MGM Springfield will also make a one-time contribution of $350,000 to a fund that will aid with the preservation of deteriorated historic buildings within one-half mile of the project.

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