Springfield's Union Station Project Earns Historic Preservation Honor

Oct 22, 2017

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal ( D-MA), on right, accepts award from Preservation Massachusetts President James Igoe ( 2nd from right) for successful restoration of Union Station. Also present for the award ceremony held in the station concourse were, from left, Chris Moskal, executive director Springfield Redevelopment Authority, and Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Credit WAMC

The $95 million restoration of Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts has won an award for historic preservation.

Preservation Massachusetts has recognized the restoration and renovation of Springfield’s historic train station with the organization’s prestigious Paul and Niki Tsongas Award for 2017.

At a recent ceremony in the concourse of the station, Preservation Massachusetts President James Igoe presented a plaque signifying the award to Congressman Richard Neal, the driving force behind the Union Station project.

" Personally and professionally it is most gratifying," said Neal. "The effort we undertook 40-years ago has now come to this point of acknowledgement, I think is a happy day for all of us here in western Massachusetts."

Joining Neal and Igoe for the presentation were Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Chris Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority.

Union Station, which opened to the public for the first time in 1926, was closed in the 1970s, and reopened this past June as a transportation hub for trains, intercity buses, and local bus routes operated by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

The renovation added modern amenities for travelers, new passenger rail boarding platforms, 26 bus bays and a 377-space parking garage. 

Workers restored the passenger waiting area to invoke the grandeur of the old train station right down to the terrazzo floor and a working original clock.  There are restored artifacts on display and the walls of the concourse are covered with murals depicting the history of transportation in Springfield.

Igoe called the multi-year restoration project “incredible” and the outcome “regal.”

" We love the story of how the congressman when he was running for City Council in 1977 vowed that he was going to make certain this building was restored, and even thought it had closed it was not the end of the story, and now you have this magnificent station," said Igoe.

Preservation Massachusetts was founded in 1989 to advocate for historic preservation across the state.

Mayor Sarno said the city is “thrilled and humbled” to be recognized for the Union Station project.

The award is named for the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas and his wife, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, for the work they did to save historic structures in their home city of Lowell, Massachusetts.