The city of Springfield is the third largest city in Massachusetts and is one of the state's metropolitan areas. Springfield sits where the Connecticut River, Westfield River, Chicopee River and the Mill River merge. It is only 24 miles from Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. Springfield is known as The City of Firsts because of its many innovations, which include publication of the first American-English Dictionary, creation of the first American gasoline-powered automobile and the first use of the assembly line. It is known as Hoop City because of its invention of basketball, which is the second most popular sport in the world. Springfield also acquired the nickname The City of Homes because of its striking Victorian architecture and is also called the City in a Forest because of its more than four miles of parkland and its location among mountains, hills and bluffs. Forest Park is a 735-acre park, which sits in the city's southwest corner.
Springfield is divided into 17 separate neighborhoods: Bay, where Blunt Park is located; Boston Road, where Eastfield Mall is located; Brightwood, where there are many Baystate Health Buildings; East Forest Park, where Cathedral High School is located; East Springfield, where the businesses Smith & Wesson and Performance Food Group are located; Forest Park, where Forest Park and the Forest Park Heights Historic District reside; Indian Orchard, which houses historic mill buildings; Liberty Heights, the home of Springfield's most prominent hospitals: Shriner's Children Hospital, Mercy Medical and Baystate Health; The McKnight Historic District, which is prominent in Victorian architecture; Memorial Square, which is Springfield's commercial district; Metro Center, where there are more than 60 nightclubs in The Club Quarter, as well as the Downtown Business District; North End, which includes the neighborhoods of Brightwood, Memorial Square and Liberty Heights; Old Hill, which sits on the border of Lake Massasoit and where Springfield College resides; Pine Point, where the Fortune 100 company Mass Mutual has its headquarters; Six Corners, where the popular Mulberry Street can be found; Sixteen Acres, which features post-World War II architecture and is the home to Western New England University and SABIS International School; South End, where there are many Italian American restaurants; and Upper Hill, where Wesson Park resides.
Springfield has a strong economy backed by leading industries. Top industries include government, tourism and hospitality, manufacturing, education and health services, and trade and transportation. Popular businesses headquartered there include Good Housekeeping Magazine, Smith & Wesson, Merriam Webster, Milton Bradley Company, Baystate Health, Rolls Royce, Mutual Life Insurance Company, the American Hockey League and Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. Famous residents of Springfield include American folk hero Johnny Appleseed, blues musician Taj Mahal, Poet R.P. Blackmur, actor Kurt Russell, songwriter Linda Perry and founder of Smith & Wesson Daniel Baird Wesson.
The Hartford-Springfield area is known as the Knowledge Corridor because of its 32 universities and colleges, which houses 160,000 students. Springfield also has both a technical community college and a regular community college. The city also is home to the second largest school district in the state. There are 6 high schools, 6 middle schools, 38 elementary schools, and 7 specialized schools. There are also many private schools in Springfield and the surrounding area.
Six Flags of New England is located within two miles of Springfield and is the largest amusement park in New England. The Easter States Exposition, known as The Big E, is the city's largest fair. Other attractions include Connecticut River Walk Park, the Caribbean Festival, the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, Stearns Square Concert Series, the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, Mulberry Street and the Hoop City Jazz Festival. The Quadrangle is a campus made up of five different museums, which includes the Museum of Fine Arts, the Springfield Science Museum, the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Society and the Museum of Springfield History.
Finding a Home Springfield
There are several neighborhoods available for those who decide they want to make their home in Springfield. In East Forest Park, there is a tidy neighborhood that features Craftsman houses, which have a sturdy structure and make use of natural materials. Bungalows are also available, which are typically single-story houses with no stairs. Forest Park Heights offers restored Victorian homes. Indian Orchard is near the business district and offers reasonable rental options for both houses and apartments. For those who enjoy strolling, the downtown Metro Center has a variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, all within walking distance. Pine Point features low rental prices and various town houses, apartments and single-family homes to choose from. In Sixteen Acres, affectionately known as "The Acres," one can find old colonial houses, split-level houses and brand new condominiums. Springfield is a large city with many living options to choose from.