The Quadrangle

The Quadrangle is a cluster of several museums on the corner of State and Chestnut Streets in Springfield, Massachusetts. Five museums, the city's central library, and the National Dr. Seuss Memorial are all located facing a small park on the edge of the downtown district. The corner is distinguished by "The Puritan," a statue depicting one of the city's founders Deacon Samuel Chapin. Also located on that edge of the Quadrangle is the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts' Christ Church Cathedral. The Roman Catholic St. Michael's Cathedral adjoins the Library at the southeast corner of the Quadrangle.

Springfield City Library
The Central Library, constructed in 1913, was paid for by Andrew Carnegie. It is the second library to be built at that location. The nonfiction department is based in Rice Hall, consisting of a main floor and mezzanine. Opposite Rice Hall is the Arts and Music Hall, where multimedia, periodicals, and the computer lab are based. The circulation desk lies in the rotunda between the two halls. Fiction, children's literature, and community rooms are in the basement. The Central Library also has a Teen Advisory Board " a grouping of teenagers who help make decisions and organize events at the library geared towards teenagers.

George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum
The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is the oldest museum on the Quadrangle. The museum is named for the collection's original owner. Its exhibits express the taste of Smith and his wife, Belle, and they bequeathed their notable collection to begin the museum. The Ancient Treasures Gallery displays objects from ancient Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. The gallery also presents Greek and Roman sculpture from the recently-acquired Blake/Purnell Collection of antiquities, and ancient Chinese ceramics and bronzes from the Bidwell Collection. Greek pottery and glass from the George Walter Vincent Smith Collection complement the classical sculptures. The Japanese Arms and Armor Gallery, in addition to holding Smith's extensive collection of Oriental armor, is the site of an ornate Shinto wheel shrine carved during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Among other collections is a 150-piece holding of Chinese cloisonne work, one of the most extensive collections outside of China.

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts
The Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts features mostly American and European works including those of Massachusetts native John Singleton Copley and lithographs of Currier & Ives. Works by Degas, Monet, and others can be found in the European collection. The Museum features many interactive exhibits as well.

Connecticut Valley Historical Museum
The Connecticut Valley Historical Museum offers exhibits detailing the history of the Pioneer Valley from 1636 up to the present. As of October, 2009, it is temporarily closed for renovations.

Springfield Science Museum
The Springfield Science Museum displays elements of natural and physical science from the Eco-Center featuring live animals, to the African Hall, which gives visitors a ground-sky perspective of an ecosystem on the Savannah. Dinosaur Hall includes a lifesize Tyrannosaurus rex model and skeletons from other dinosaurs. The museum also features a planetarium - the first built in the United States, and one of the very few of the era not built by Zeiss - and earth science exhibits.

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden
The Quadrangle's perimeter was at one time open to vehicles, but was closed off in the 1990s, becoming a pedestrian-only park. Soon after that, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden was opened. Several statues depicting Dr. Seuss and many of his creations were sculpted and placed on the Quadrangle green.

Museum of Springfield History
The newest museum of the Quadrangle, open in the fall of 2009, highlights the city's development as a center for manufacturing and inventions, its role in transportation history, and its ethnic history. Exhibits of antique automobiles and firearms, formerly housed at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, in addition to an impressive collection of classic Indian motorcycles, showcase the city's industrial past. The museum also has its own library filled with historical paper and documents including genealogical records.

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
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