April 26, 2019
DeSimone Consulting Engineers is excited to announce MGM Springfield, the first full-service casino in Massachusetts, is a recipient of the 2019 Paul & Niki Tsongas Award for superlative achievements in historic preservation, rehabilitation, and community impact.
Since 1988 Preservation Massachusetts’ highest honor, the Paul & Niki Tsongas Award, has recognized the very best in historic preservation efforts, individuals, and achievements across the state of Massachusetts. MGM Springfield stands as a superlative example of how a new development can not only preserve and honor the rich history of its surroundings, but also contribute to the economic, cultural, and social fabric of a community. The size and scope of MGM Springfield creates a new destination not only for the city, but also for the regional area of Western Massachusetts.
Located approximately 80 miles west of Boston, MGM Springfield comprises 775,000 square feet spread across 14 acres. Components within the development include a 250-key hotel, a 125,000-square-foot casino, resort-style amenities, an array of restaurants and dining options, a retail center, 46,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, and parking accommodations for 3,400 vehicles. From project conception, MGM embraced the landmarked and historic structures throughout the site, and through creative adaptive reuse, transformed them into focal points for the new development.
“The complexity of this project required creative structural engineering solutions and a collaborative effort by all parties,” said Jarret Johnson, Boston Principal of DeSimone Consulting Engineers. “It was gratifying to work with the project team to achieve a vision that preserves local history while contributing to a vital, contemporary facility.”
In addition to adaptively reusing buildings or parts of buildings within the development, a comprehensive architectural salvage program was implemented to save, preserve, and reuse architectural elements and historical artifacts throughout the property. As part of this effort, historians helped to identify artifacts and memorabilia to help tell Springfield’s story to visitors.
At the heart of the venue is the State Armory, which took a direct hit from the tornado and has sat vacant ever since. Surrounding the development are the other treasured landmarks, including the French Congregational Church, office buildings along State Street, and the facades of the United Electric Company Building and the Union House Hotel. However, prior to any new construction, the property underwent a complex, multi-phase transformation. This included relocation of the 130-year-old church 200-yards-across the build-site, preservation of several historic facades, partial demolition, and renovation of the formidable State Armory, originally constructed in 1895.
MGM Springfield opened its doors to the public in August 2018. Coupled with the existing Mass Mutual Center, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and other existing institutions, the project is expected to increase the annual volume of visitors to the area. Initial market research predicted over 20,000 visitors per day on peak weekends, the creation of 2,500 permanent jobs, and annual generation of several million dollars in addition to revenue from tax.
About Preservation Massachusetts:
Preservation Massachusetts was established in 1985 as Historic Massachusetts, Inc. The statewide non-profit organization actively promotes the preservation of historic buildings and landscapes as a positive force for economic development and the retention of community character. The organization is supported entirely by grants, fundraising events, and memberships. As a mission, the organization works in partnership with national, state and local organizations and individuals across the Commonwealth to advance understanding, appreciation, and utilization of our historic built and natural landscapes.