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"Our Country and Its People" A History of Hampden County Massachusetts- Volume 2
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Springfield, Massachusetts, like many cities in the decades after the Civil War, decided it wanted a large public park. It no doubt was influenced by the popularity of New York's Central Park, designed by Calbert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. By the late 1870s, Central Park had moved away from its former status as a reserve only for the wealthy into something used by all classes of the city. Springfield decided to build its park beginning in 1882 and John Olmsted (no relation to Frederick Law Olmsted) headed the commission. The park, like those designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and his firm, worked to incorporate water and landscaping, forming a park from the natural material at hand. Building a park like this took many years longer than the original planners had envisioned; it was not really complete until the late 1890s. The park though, has persisted and by the early 21st century it continues to be thronged by the people of Springfield.
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