Monday, May 28, 2007

Photos: A-10s Over Westfield

A-10s from the 104th Fighter Wing joined Westfield's Memorial Day commemoration, swooping in low over the city several times during this morning's parade, to the enjoyment of the proud townspeople, who have hosted the Air National Guard base near Barnes Airport for decades. The F-15 jet will more than likely be the flyover bird of choice next year, as plans fall into place for it to replace the A-10s,which are expected to be gone from the ANG base by October.

More at EWM: Photo: A-10s Over Springfield.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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Photo: A-10s Over Springfield

A-10 Warthogs soaring over Springfield, Massachusetts.

More from EWM: Photos: A-10s Over Westfield

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My Cousin Billy

In my parents' house, in the den, there was a box of photographs unsorted.

Big families with cameras always have one.

I loved the smell of the old images. Now I know that the smell is actually a sign that the chemicals in the pictures are becoming unstable and breaking down.

Literally fading away.

One image that will never fade for me is of my cousin Billy.

He will always be a fresh-faced blond kid of 9 or 10 smiling back at the camera to me from the wallet-sized school photo in the box.

I was looking through the pictures one day with one of my older brothers when we came across the picture of cousin Billy. We were at the age of giggles, when everything was funny first and figured out later.

Younger than Billy was in the picture.

But his ears. What kid wouldn't have laughed? Heck, they were big.

Of course, in those days of crew cuts, which all boys had, all of our ears looked big. We just didn't know it.

So we laughed.

We were still laughing when we found our father to ask him who the kid with the big ears was.

I handed him the picture and he changed color. From white to gray to red.

"That's your cousin Billy. He died in Vietnam. Don't ever laugh at him again."

We knew what Vietnam was. All kids did.

It was war. And we wanted to go when we were old enough.

And here was our cousin Billy, a kid in a picture who looked an awful lot like us, gone to war alive like us and come back dead like something we couldn't comprehend yet.

We had no basis to judge death. This was our first taste.

And we had laughed.

There was no way to take it back. I remember hoping cousin Billy wasn't mad at us in heaven.

Surely he had seen.

The photo got tucked back in the box and the box put away in its spot and that was the end of looking through the photographs for that day.

But the image and incident were burned into my mind.

To me, my cousin Billy was and still is a hero. A bona fide war hero in my very own family.

And I had betrayed my unworthiness of his sacrifice with my quick laughter and the ease with which I had judged him by his appearance: "Look at the goofy kid."

It sounds silly, but I feel guilty for laughing to this day.

I was not alone, though.

In March of 1970, when Billy died, many Americans who should have known better were betraying their unworthiness here in the States while our men and women in uniform were dying far away in places like Thua Thien.

In the name of peace, anti-war activists assaulted returning GIs physically and verbally. Some, like Jane Fonda, became out and out Communist sympathizers and tools.

Most of those who served in Vietnam were drafted. They didn't run. They did what was right and what was honorable, which is to answer the country's call to service.

Like my cousin Billy.

And those who came home walking and those who came home as a memory deserved a hell of a lot more from America than they were ever given.

They still do.

When my boys were growing up, they learned about Billy. And my aunt Mary Lou, who served courageously as a nurse in Vietnam during the Tet offensive. And their grandpa Paul, a Marine who fought in the Korean conflict.

I told them about their great-uncle Bill, Billy's father, who brought the Alamed name into World War II with his answer to the call to duty. And their great-grandpas Ray and Thurber, also World War II veterans.

And my boys learned to respect those men and women of honor who choose to promise our safety and security.

My youngest son, Nathaniel, went to Washington, D.C. on a field trip in junior-high school.

It was important for him to go to the Wall, the Vietnam Memorial, to see Billy's name.

Row 102, Panel 13 West. William Robert Alamed, Jr.

When he came home, he had a difficult time talking about it.

We had seen the 'Moving Wall' exhibit in Springfield, Mass., which is a smaller re-creation of the permanent memorial. But this was different, he said.

Nathaniel joined the Navy midway through his senior year of high school. He shipped out a month after he graduated.

He didn't tell me he was going to sign up. He just did.

He had to.

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Poem: In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Poem: 'Morning Meditation'

Morning Meditation

I treasure the early mornings I spend alone,
Family abed, I listen quietly
To the sound of their slumber:
One stirs, another coughs.

Outside, city birds sing
Inside concrete valleys, atop aluminum trees.
My dawn thoughts wander aimlessly,
No rush or commotion, commitments or appointments.

Comfortable, snail's paced images and ideas
Stroll through my rested attic.
I sip my coffee and think how lucky I am
To have a family that sleeps late

And a mind that rises early.


'Springfield Present and Prospective, The Visible Charm, As It Was, Is, and May Be' (Pond & Campbell, 1905)

Title/contents page

I. Looking Backward

1. Nature's Legacy

Some cities are born beautiful, like Naples, some achieve beauty, like Washington, and some have beauty thrust upon them, like St. Petersburg, which would have been a great dismal swamp today but for the stubborn will of the first great autocrat of Russia.

If Springfield is not already one of the most beautiful cities in America, it is not for lack of noble birth, for it was beautifully born. Conceived in sunshine and brought forth in verdure, the little old house on the west side of the river, which two and a half centuries ago was the germ of the present city, a helpless, solitary infant, resting on the bare but nourishing bosom of mother Earth and rocked in the cradle of the fertile valley, was even then surrounded by rare and wonderful charms.

Sweeping and swinging between bluffs and forests, the clear water of the river mirrored brilliant pictures of the clouds above, of the graceful elms along its banks, and likewise of Indians, squaws and little papooses who had never heard of 'civic centers of municipal art' nor of scientific public sanitation, but by unerring instinct, selected for their mundane hunting grounds the spots where the grass was the greenest, the water the purest, the trees the most stately and sturdy. Then as now there were mountains round about, which gave a sense of permanency and solemn grandeur without which it is almost impossible to be deeply conscious of a well-established local habitation. We need these lofty barriers, not to mark the visual line that girts us round as the world's extreme and shut us in from the outer universe like Rasselas in his Happy Valley, but as our dwellings must have solid walls and sheltering roofs to localize and intensify the love of home. Domestic life even in frozen, barren Scandinavia is far superior to that of the fleeting Arabs on their level plains.

Here the sun sends down his morning salutation from over the Wilbraham hills and we lift our eyes for his evening benediction to the Green mountain peaks that have tumbled out of Vermont across Berkshire and Western Hampden; while at the north, craggy, crumbling Mount Tom, gray and hoary, but capped by giddy games and crowned with gilded coronet, like a too complaisant Cyclops, still lies between us and the wintry winds that rend his northern side but lose their sharpest sting before descending the southern slope.

Whether we climb to the top of the four-square arsenal tower, grim type and reminder of the 'power that fills the world with terror,' or seek the lofty but narrow point of view that for nearly a century has crowned Mount Orthodox across the river, steadfast, heaven-pointing emblem of the divine gospel of peace, our first emotion is that of surprise; our first impression that a veritable miracle has been wrought and, not all the kingdoms of the earth, indeed, but a measureless map of marvelous beauty has been suddenly unrolled at our feet. Seen from the streets of our city, from the bluffs on either side or from the cars that bind us to the rest of the world, neither the arsenal tower nor the spire of the West Springfield church appears to rise conspicuously above the surrounding landscape, but standing on or near their summits we seem to be lifted above the earth into the regions of the upper air.

After the first surprise at the extent and beauty of the view, the next thought is of wonder and self-reproach, that all our lives, perhaps, we, dullards that we are, have been living and moving in the midst of this delightful environment, oblivious or indifferent to the rarest charms of Nature, the richest combination of river and sky, bluffs and meadows, forests and mountains, too grand and gracious to be permanently defaced even by our clumsiest mistakes. Beyond question it was a goodly heritage, and Springfield must be counted among the cities that were born beautiful.

But these unadorned natural charms like those of infancy and childhood were doomed to suffer changes. The experimental and erratic methods of civilization soon compelled our eager ancestors to assail this perfect picture of Nature's faultless fashioning, and into the midst of her irreproachable work, where use and beauty are never at a variance, to introduce their own bald utilities with little thought beyond the stern necessities of each day and generation. There must be graded roads in place of the blazed and winding trails; bridges above the treacherous fords. Simple cottages and stately mansions with gardens and cultivated fields established themselves where wigwams and huts had hidden in the forest glades. The silent canoe disappeared before the screech of the locomotive, the flashing trolley and the puffing steamer. There must be room for public squares and parks; monuments and statues for our heroes, jails and gallows yards for our criminals. The thick black breath of chimneys darkens the sky which the thin smoke of the aboriginal domestic altars never reached. Huge factories and business blocks make narrow canyons of the old forest aisles. There are churches and saloons, police courts and labor unions, trusts and telephones, armories and schools. All of these with innumerable additions and variations determine and display the external life, the outside picture of the City of Springfield. And each and every one of these features, large and small, forms a thread, dark or light, a band of color, a conspicuous and beautiful decoration, or an uncouth disfigurement on the web we have woven and shall keep weaving as successive generations rise and fall, while the city which never grows old, but, humanly speaking, lives forever, becomes larger and more beautiful every year.

2. From Center to Circumference

Doubtless the most conspicuous element of natural beauty in Springfield is the river; while the most essential and permanent characteristic of the city's material development is the manner in which its growth has been adapted to the almost faultless site. Unlike St. Petersburg, many a western town and some nearer home, it has not been necessary to remove mountains of rock or sand, either by faith or dynamite; to fill up marshes and bogs that Nature evidently intended for saurians and other croakers; nor to build dykes to keep out the aggressive ocean - not to any great extent. Almost from the first, the streets and thoroughfares, whether for residence or business, have followed the lines of the least resistance. Not the traditional meandering cattle paths of Boston, but the slightly and gracefully devious ways which an ardent lover or a guest sure of his welcome would naturally follow to reach the end of his journey, in the good old days when safe and swift arrival was not the only charm of travel.

The intersection of two main lines of travel, virtually at right angles, gave from the first an advantage not only in convenience of traffic and travel, but in the way of aesthetic possibilities which could hardly have existed under other conditions. One of these lines loosely paralleled the river, as in so many old New England towns and villages, and constituted in its earlier years the main axis and substance of the settlement, with farms and holdings on the west side, running back to the river which formed their rear boundary. The other thoroughfare gradually evolved from the eastward trail, encountered Main street near State and crossed it in a somewhat irregular fashion, proceeding over the river and the old West Springfield common. Eastward and westward these lines of travel stretched out across the country over bluffs and plains into the narrow, crooked valleys through which the smaller tributaries find their way to the large river. It hardly need be said that in this discussion of Springfield, both sides of the river are included and whatever we choose to claim toward the north and south.

A city by the sea unless it encircles the head of the bay is one-sided, and the same is true of those that are confined to either side of a large river, or barricaded at the back by inaccessible mountains. Like men of genius such cities command the greatest admiration for their preeminent merit - for instance, nothing can be finer than the magnificent setting of Holyoke against the southern side of Mount Tom - but they lack the broader and far more enduring charms of all-round excellence. This latter quality Springfield possesses in a marked and literal degree. Whether we take the wings of the morning and fly to Indian Orchard, Chicopee Falls and Ludlow, or dwell in the uttermost parts of Tatham, we can walk beside still waters and lie down in green pastures, as well as in fertile meadows and cornfields. Everywhere there are pleasant walks, and the state roads are good for man, beast, and automobile. If all our suburban highways and so-called roads were perfect, there would be nothing for future generations to accomplish, or give to the present generation that wholesome dissatisfaction which is the necessary precursor and incentive to improvement.

It seems to have followed naturally from the conditions of the birth and subsequent growth of the city, that the obvious civic center has scarcely changed its geographical location. The centrifugal forces have been almost equally strong in every direction. Ward One, Forest Park, the Hill, and West Springfield - north, south, east and west - who shall say which is the most delightful suburb?

As in the old New England towns, almost without exception, the first church erected was the point from which all things emanated, toward which all things tended, and around which everything revolved. It not only dominated the green turf in front, and the sometimes dreary burial ground behind, or at one side, but it set the pace for all other local affairs, social, political and educational as well as religious. It has not always happened, however, as here, that this ethical and business center has remained the visible aesthetic center. And although but a comparatively small part of our best architectural growth has been adjacent to Court square, and other churches have shared the burdens and responsibilities of directing our temporal as well as spiritual concerns, the characteristic, though by no means ornate, or altogether graceful, spire of the First church remains, as regards locality, the civic center of gravity. A skeleton map of the situation as it is today is fairly represented by the foregoing sketch.

It is obvious at a single glance how much greater are the opportunities for a beautiful city with such a ground plan than if it were helplessly constrained to the lines and the squares of a chess board. By filling the spaces between these variously curved diverging streets with small parallelograms a very complete map of the city would be produced, and it is easy to see that if all the main thoroughfares were straight and intersected each other at right angles, the chief charm of the plan would be lost. The natural point for minor public squares and open spaces is at the junction of these larger avenues, and many such already exist, so that from whatever quarter or direction we approach the center of the city, we encounter these ornamental oases.

The general picturesqueness is still farther enhanced by the uneven surface of the site which, of course, does not appear on the map. There are constant surprises in the way of charming vistas, either looking down across the valley or up toward the woody heights of the bluffs, that are not found in cities where all things are doomed to remain on the dead level. It is no wonder that the ancient Egyptians found their greatest enjoyment in building pyramids, and the Babylonians hung their gardens high in the air. We all like something to look up to and to look down upon.

Whether the attractiveness of the city's plan is thought to be due to happy chance, to the foresight of those who accidentally, or otherwise, determined the course of the principal highways of travel and trade, or to that overruling Providence which compels men to build better than they know, it is evident that the result is most excellent. So excellent, in fact, that we may seriously question whether the larger matters of business traffic and actual convenience, as well as of ultimate landscape architectural effect, could have been more wisely arranged if the genius of L'Enfant himself, instead of the domestic, commercial and social needs of our ancestors, had determined the first outline sketch of the city and its environment. By this irregular plan, small parks and open spaces are easily established without large outlay or sacrifice of public convenience. Trees, turf and flowers give an almost rural appearance even close to the very center, and render possible that dignified and sympathetic union of landscape and structural architecture which constitutes the most refined and exalted expression of civic aesthetics. Beauty in buildings alone is cold and costly; landscape without architectural embellishment belongs to rural life. The wise combination of the two - the color and grace of tree and shrub, of leaf and flower, the music of falling water and the silver light on river and fountain, all allied and inseparably blended with the artificial structures that minister to the needs of men and accompany human activities - is and always has been the constant aim and, when achieved, the crowning glory of the noblest civic art.

II. Plan of the Ground Floor

1. The Inner Circle

Thus far the heritage and natural endowment of Springfield and the general conditions of its earlier and unstudied growth have been briefly sketched. A more detailed study of what has been done that is of lasting value and worthy to remain as an essential part of the great and beautiful city that is to be, is also interesting and impressive. A fairly comprehensive showing in the way of park and boulevard achievement is given in the accompanying maps of the parks, large and small, that already exist, with the streets, actual and possible, that join them.

Starting from Court square (in one of the perfected electric automobiles that make no noise, never kill people or frighten horses, and leave no unpleasant reminder of their progress, but are not yet on the market because the demand is so much greater than the supply), it is necessary, in the absence of the river-bank improvement, to proceed northward through what is now the most important business portion of Main street, as far as Bridge, where we may turn to the right for a moment in order to get a glimpse of St. Gauden's tortoises, beside the globe instead of under the elephants that held it in place until Columbus discovered America. Nothing could be finer than the spirit of this sometimes unappreciated public square. Maintaining itself in the business heart of the city merely as an open breathing space, it is something to be devoutly thankful for. It also affords the most obvious opportunity, even superior to Court square, for the harmonious combination of beauty and business; an opportunity that can not long remain unimproved.

Back upon Main street, and going northward, we soon arrive at the arch, a utilitarian work of great dignity and beauty, the latter not always recognized because of its simplicity. If it were in an old city of France or Italy, Baedeker would give it double stars and American tourists would love to talk of it to their friends at home. A few blocks beyond the arch we find the southern entrance to Hampden park by way of Clinton street. When we reflect that more than one-third of the population in Springfield, not to mention Chicopee and the greater part of West Springfield, lives north of the Boston and Albany railroad, the exceeding value of Hampden park as a public playground is apparent. In its way no greater calamity to the entire city could happen than for the whole of this tract of land to be given up to railroad or other business purposes. Comparing its actual with its ideal condition, it is still in what may be called a chrysalid state. Everything in and about it is crude, coarse and rough, but its form and location are such that there is hardly a limit to its capacity for furnishing rest and recreation for the thousands of people who already live within easy walking distance of it, and the tens of thousands who find it easily accessible. Tracks for races, rings for circuses, grounds for baseball and tennis, room for Fourth of July celebrations, Sunday-school picnics, wheel tournaments, river-bank promenades, lovers' walks and fireworks; canoe wharfs, yacht landings and bath-houses - for all these and more there is room on Hampden park; and the importance to the city of this plot of ground, or a considerable portion of it, for these and kindred purposes, increases every year more rapidly than the city's growth.

Directly at the north of the park and on the bank of the river is a triangular piece of land, happily belonging to the city, of which much may be expected in the future. At present it is not even in the chrysalid state, but wholly chaotic - just a bare dumping ground. Even this is by no means unsatisfactory. The conversion of a worthless piece of land, by gradual means and without cost to the city, into a beauty spot is far more to be commended than the strenuous creation of a gorgeous garden by extravagant and hurried methods.

Here, looking westward, we see the sweet fields of West Springfield beyond the swelling floods that roll under the North-end bridge. But that is a side line, and in following the inner line of the chain, of which but few links are missing, we must turn eastward by Wason avenue where, after crossing Main street, we face the wooded bluffs of Rockrimmon. This large tract belonging to the Atwater estate has been virtually an open natural park for nearly half a century. It is wholly unadorned, some portions of it primeval, in fact, and thereby all the more delightful. There is no other spot within many miles of the city where, to judge from the natural conditions, the wild fox would be more likely to dig his hole unscared, where the deep forest song birds find themselves so much at home and where, not the real copper-colored flesh-and-blood aborigines, but their pathetic ghosts, would be more likely to revisit the glimpses of the moon.

This entire tract, keeping close to the Chicopee line, is full of picturesque revelations in the immediate surroundings and in the frequent views across and up and down the valley where the broad river gleams and glistens. When the roads passing through this tract are definitely located and perfected, as they are sure to be in the future, there will be no more charming suburban drive than through this part of the encircling boulevard.

After leaving the constantly varying bluffs and deep ravines of the Rockrimmon region and turning toward the south, we pass through and across the source of the city's first great public waterworks - great at the time they were undertaken - the Van Horn reservoir, as safely as Moses and his tribe passed through the Red Sea, and in far less time, unless we stop to admire the western view across the water or to walk around the borders of the upper portions. This is , in truth, one of the rare products which seem to have been fore-ordained for other purposes than those which ostensibly called them into existence. Primarily constructed as ponds to hold water to keep the people of the city from dying of thirst - than which no purpose could commend itself more highly to the most prosaic and utilitarian citizen - if the sole object had been to find a spot for a charming park of grass and trees and shimmering water, this could not have been surpassed. What the contour of the original ponds may have been I do not know, but as soon as the water was called upon to fulfill a high and holy mission - giving drink to those who were athirst - it immediately assumed all the airs and graces of a miniature Lake Winnepesaukee. Even the islands are not wanting, and a road winding around its bank - a thoroughly good road, such as are only found in really civilized countries - would be a thing of beauty and joy forever. But this road, like the next war, is not yet "fit." The drive along Armory street passes at the corner of Carew and Armory a five-acre park with its brook, trees and deep dingle, which has been wisely acquired by the park commission for the future use of the city. Half a mile farther we traverse the viaduct across the railroad and approach the ancient and beautiful thoroughfare of State street.

Fifty years ago Springfield people were fond of telling their friends of the enthusiastic praise bestowed by Thackeray on the view from the arsenal tower and this portion of the Connecticut valley. The view is the same; the arsenal grounds are undoubtedly more beautiful and impressive now than then, and if another distinguished foreign prophet, whom we should delight to honor, could be enticed to the top of the tower, he would surely revive our forgotten local pride. These broad and well-cared-for grounds belonging to the Federal government have always been a potent factor in establishing the claims of Springfield to a special external attractiveness. As the years go by, the worth of this national park will relatively increase, and more and more will State street become famous among the beautiful avenues of large cities.

Proceeding still farther southward, we reach the Watershops pond, another link in the circumscribing boulevard, although its complete exploration involves a wide diversion from the direct line to Forest park.

The residential portions of the Forest park region and the park itself remind us of the traditional ocean views, where sea and sky blend so imperceptibly that we can scarcely tell where the one begins and the other ends. There is a similar illusion here. The greater portion of this entire suburb has a park-like appearance in its private grounds, and we constantly find parklets and "terraces" at the junctions and in the center of the wider avenues. The park itself, extending more than a mile from east to west, is every year adding to Nature's legacy of beauty, and from the real bear's den at one end to the counterfeit presentment of McKinley at the other, music itself is not more redundant of charms for all moods and fancies.

Doubtless the home run from Forest park to Court square ought to be along the river bank; but the railroad at present has the right of way and we must take the inside track until the South-end boulevard, so well begun, is completed.

This general scheme, as shown by the first of these two maps, or something closely resembling it, is almost an accomplished fact. It has been the dream of the men who have done the most for local improvement, and can only fail of complete fulfillment through a fatal attack of sinister politics on the part of the city officials, or of grievous parsimony and Philistinism on the part of the citizens. It involves no large or sudden outlay, only the gradual working toward a definite goal, and each succeeding step in the progress, if wisely taken, would unquestionably pay for itself from the purely financial point of view in the enhanced value of the real estate along the route.

2. Broader Outlooks

To pass around the circle once more, not in the electric chariot that clings to earth, but in one of the dirigible air ships that exist chiefly in the eye of faith, we shall see that the route just described is not merely a succession of arboreal and flowering parks diversified by water views and distant landscape, but an inner-urban highway much of the way, in fact a greater part of it, passing among the thickly planted and abundantly occupied homes which have given to the city its sentimental name; homes where the signs of good taste and good cheer are in constant evidence and which should be a pleasure to heart and eye even if there were not countless small parks and terraces converging wherever streets come together and where sufficient width has been taken to form parks or terraces through the center.

On this elevated excursion we can see and trace what may be called the side lines of the grand tour.

While waiting for the new bridge that will supplant the century-old wooden structure, the North-end bridge furnishes the first point of departure from the main line. When this was built it was thought to be a work of great extravagance, wholly exceeding all possible requirements and declared to be of sufficient size and strength to sustain the entire population of Hampden county - which was probably true. Indeed, it may have done so many times over, though not all at once, for it is a great thoroughfare, constituting our principal highway, not only to our beloved maiden sister across the river, but to our more distant friends and family relatives, Westfield, Tatham and Holyoke.

The nearest west-side charms, after crossing the bridge, are the old West Springfield street with its over-arching elms and verdant turf, dewy and damp even at mid-day, Shad Lane, the old common, several rods wider than Court square and originally extending from the Connecticut river on the east to the wharfs at Agawam on the west, and nobody can remember how much farther. The wharfs have disappeared, the length of the common has been curtailed, but its width remains. The "Shad Laner's Meetin' road" is also the oldest and perhaps the most beautiful river-bank drive in Hampden county, besides being the fit approach to the commanding site of the home of the Country club.

Leaving the main road again at Glenwood where the Rockrimmon tract joins the Armory road, Springfield street beguiles us through the pleasant scenery of upper Chicopee, which would be literally under the shadow of Mt. Tom if the sun should happen to rise in the north, and thence, if we choose, swerving around to the right across to Chicopee Falls and the romantic country beyond.

Still swinging eastward we find the Watershops pond, whose picturesque northern shore is already accessible and which in the future will move slowly into the midst of the metropolitan district. Sometimes there may be viaducts across the upper part of this lake, but in this imaginary flight it is easy to cross without bridges, looking down upon Forest park and sailing over the lily ponds whose incomparable beauty and gracious perfume haunt us until we reach the classic shades and bucolic charms of Longmeadow.

Whether we depend upon the time-honored but now obsolescent modes of conveyance that require the combined service of horses and wagons, saddles and bridles, oats, stables and hostlers, or move swiftly and simply by means of scientific, up-to-date locomotive mechanism, the inter-urban boulevard in its actual condition, as shown by the first map or in the completed form of the second, will be a journey of at least a dozen miles and all quite within the thickly populated limits of the city. Extending the trip through the various side lines would of course add to its extent indefinitely.

What has been said of the residential portions of the Forest park region is generally true of other parts of the city. Across the river, at the "north end," in Brightwood, in other parts of Ward One and throughout what is commonly known as the "Hill region," carefully-kept lawns, ornamental shrubbery, and small decorative parks are frequently encountered, some of them, notably Calhoun and Merrick, already possessing marked and varied beauty.

To refer very briefly to what is perhaps the most important feature of the city, the one that indicates with most emphasis the degree of intelligence and public spirit prevailing, it may be said that the construction and final finish of our streets will probably continue to be, as it always has been, a matter for controversy and experiment. Considering the relatively large area of Springfield and the rapid extension of the suburbs in all directions impartially, our streets and sidewalks are usually well graded and paved, though by no means faultless. We are, moreover, in the most hopeful and fortunate condition possible for ignorant and erring mortals; we are aware of our sins, suitably ashamed of them, and honestly trying to outgrow them. Many of the streets are models of excellence, and the public demand for clean, well-paved thoroughfares ensures a constant improvement in this respect, for whatever value we may attach to the ornamental features of a house, a home or a friend, we know that "Thou shalt not be unclean" is one of the fundamental commandments.

Washington has been called the "Parlor City" because of its chronic state of preparation for ornamental social functions. Other cities, whose names may be guessed from their supposed tastes, might be considered dining-room cities; certain others, in the opinion of their neighbors, ought to be laundries; in the great national domicile, "Library cities" are happily numerous. For Springfield, which is and always has been industrious, democratic and cosmopolitan, no better designation, derived from domestic associations, can be given than "The Living Room" - the apartment which in the steady evolution of homes combines in itself the essential and happiest qualities of the more highly specialized and exclusive apartments. Bright, cheerful and sunny, free to all well-behaved comers, unhampered by troublesome conventionalities, with room and opportunity for industry, study, recreation and social enjoyment - what the generous living-room with its hospitable hearth and ready welcome is to the private dwelling, Springfield is in the larger home of the grand old Commonwealth.

III. Architectural Garments

1. The Personal Equation in Houses

Given a well-born child, properly nourished, wisely trained, still more wisely untrained, and the odds are a great many to one that the resulting boy - or girl, as the case may be - will be strong, cheerful and intelligent, of good temper, wholesome tastes, fair to look upon, and eager to increase in size and influence. It is the same way with a city. In its earlier years it asks only for healthy nourishment and plenty of standing room. Quantity is desired rather than quality; strength ranks above skill, might above right, and license seems more admirable than law. To both child and city there comes a time when the childish order is reversed. Conventions, rules and regulations, implements of work and warfare, personal appearances, comforts and other assets enter into the problem of existence. What clothes are to a well-made man or woman, architecture, as manifested in building, is to a city; something essential to its comfort, largely indicative of its wealth and intelligence.

In a rough classification of the architecture with which we are all familiar, there may be counted domestic, commercial, municipal or public and semi-public, ecclesiastical, monumental and, perhaps, industrial, as among the conspicuous and easily distinguished varieties. They are more or less interlocking, but such a general grouping simplifies their discussion.

Real orthodox architecture in house building is rare. Most of the houses intended as homes for those who built them are far more likely each one to express the varying tastes and needs of the owner and his wife - especially of his wife, although he may not be aware of that fact or willing to acknowledge it - than to illustrate any recognized, or unrecognized, principles of the noblest of all arts. This is by no means a deplorable circumstance. What if the peculiar shapes that are chosen for the outside clothing of our homes are as varied and inconsequent as the amazing shape of feminine headgear, provided each one shelters a well-ordered domestic unit? What if they sometimes lack that sober dignity and fail to give that assurance of self-poise which ought to characterize a family whose days are expected to be long in the land? They distinctly declare that there are multitudes of good and prosperous who have the courage of their convictions and are willing to assert themselves by conspicuous and often expensive declarations of independence.

One especially fortunate condition that has saved us from much architectural barrenness in this class is the diversity and generally high character of our industrial and business activities; because owing to these we are free from great aggregations of factory boardinghouses and the monotonously bare "homes of operatives," so called, that are inevitable in towns and cities where large numbers of comparatively unskilled and often migratory laborers are employed in the manufacture of the great staples. Neither do huge blocks of expressionless tenements of the same pattern, and the Babel of towering, undomestic apartment houses overmuch abound in the "City of Homes," - thanks to the salubrious and easily-accessible suburbs. These are some of the more obvious causes that have led to the heterogeneous character of our domestic architecture.

I was about to say that the real lessons of the homes of Springfield can only be discovered by reading between the lines. Unfortunately there is little room for reading lessons or anything else between the houses - an almost universal misfortune in suburban districts everywhere. It is one of the incomprehensible and, apparently, incurable human follies that, notwithstanding enormous advantages in the way of obtaining greater space for their domiciles, men are still willing to submit to the privations and inconvenience of small lots and of uncomfortable proximity to neighbors (even good neighbors may be too near our dining-room windows) merely for the sake of saving a few minutes' time in the journey between home and business. This strange perversity can not be the result of deliberate choice, but evidently belongs to the conservatism that ignores the achievements of modern science, the inexpressibly wonderful inventions of the last half-century, and clings to the hereditary customs as monkeys cling to their tails and sheep follow their bellwether over a precipice. Forty acres and a mule may not be a practicable allowance in this part of the Connecticut valley, but viewed from a standpoint of common sense, and in the light of this electric age, it is a perilous lapse toward barbarism and, contrariwise, a lamentable encouragement of race suicide, for a man to undertake to found a family and bring up his wife and children in the way they should go, on a bit of land scarcely large enough for a cemetery lot.

But we can hardly help outgrowing these minor faults. In every direction we have attractive open country within a twenty-minute's circuit, and are not forced to imitate the less favored cities where those whose business is in one half of the city must cross the other half in order to reach their outside homes. There is improvement, too, in what we are pleased to call our domestic architecture; less of the far fetched and fanciful on one hand, less affectation of humility and rusticicity on the other, and more of self-respecting dignity. When we find that fire-proof buildings cost no more than droll freaks and ostentatious shams in wood, we shall take another step in the direction of worthy domestic architecture.

2. Commercial and Municipal

Perhaps there is no better illustration of the evolution of business architecture in the older parts of this country than in the main commercial avenue of an old New England city like Springfield. Beginning with a corner grocery, detached stores and shops gradually extended along either side of the street, with a sprinkling of dwelling-houses, the latter being sooner or later given over to business and the vacant lots filled in until the principal street presented a continuous wall of buildings, each with its own proprietor and line of business. Before the days of elevators, buildings were commonly two or three, rarely four, stories in height, and after fire ordinances prohibited the use of wood for external walls, red brick, with a mild peppering of granite or brownstone, were the most available and useful materials. These earlier business blocks might almost be classified as factories, so simple were they in design, so strictly utilitarian in character. As business prosperity increased there was a larger outlay for more expensive material and skillful workmanship without essential departure from the simpler forms. These quiet, serviceable structures making no claim to architectural display, still produce the most pleasing effect. They have something of the aristocratic dignity of old families; they are at peace with one another; naked and not ashamed.

Really fine, scholarly examples of commercial architecture are so few and far between that they tend to exaggerate by contrast the homeliness of the earlier structures, while the fantastic and sometimes frantic efforts at ornament and variety, of what may be called the transition period, where each building is indifferent, if not openly hostile, to its neighbor, only produce architectural confusion and discord. Probably merchants and architects will need to be born again several times over before either will voluntarily sacrifice contemporary popular applause and a chance for vociferous advertising, in order to educate the public taste.

As might be expected from the conditions of business prosperity and freedom from political graft, and from the general culture of the citizens, our municipal buildings are usually well adapted to their various uses, of good style and quality. Indulgence in monumental features for the sake of impressive architecture is rare. The prevailing and apparently irremovable handicap in all public work is the constant change of executive. Sometimes this occurs during the progress of important undertakings, men of different tastes, divergent judgment and, perhaps, opposite ideas as to public economy and utility, are called upon to complete work begun by others whose taste and intentions they do not approve.

Inasmuch as the average sentiment of those to whom the members of a city government feel responsible and look for their official support is never in favor of that which is absolutely the best, it follows that the highest excellence is rarely attained in municipal work. Sometime we may arrive at the dignity of a permanent board of public works that shall also be a competent board of censors. We shall also learn that temporizing for the sake of present saving is culpable waste, and that thorough, high-class, fire-proof building is the only true economy.

3. Churches, Monuments and Chimneys

Local ecclesiastical architecture is easily disposed of. There are plenty of cities in the world infested by eager tourists, sung by enamored poets, and coveted by military heroes, whose fame rests almost solely on the marvelous beauty and impressive grandeur of their churches and cathedrals. Even the buildings of state, erected by the rulers of great nations with apparent utter recklessness as to cost, are less notable on the whole than those which have been inspired by religious sentiment and devoted to its expression. It will hardly be considered unkind to say that Springfield is in no immediate danger of being ravaged by rapacious generals, preserved in ponderous poetry, or tormented by tourists, solely on account of the magnificence of her churches. Leaving out the venerable and hoary First church, which by reason of its halo of historic sentiment and hallowed associations can hardly enter the race on its architectural merits, there are four or five others that are justly entitled to admiration for their beauty; although in two or three of these it would appear that the lamp of sacrifice flickered and went out before they were completed. Aside from these, of the various buildings used for religious purposes, none rise above the commonplace. If any one of them should be destroyed, it is doubtful if it would be rebuilt in its present form solely for the sake of its architectural excellence.

Monumental architecture belongs either to some of the dead and gone golden ages, renowned for a precocious development of physical courage and intellectual refinement, or else to the tyrannical reigns of great autocrats, able to compel the unlimited resources of a kingdom, including the unrequited toil of their subjects. We have escaped the latter condition and have not yet attained the former. In our commercial age, the successful production and accumulation of material wealth makes it inevitable that the finer intellectual, aesthetic and moral qualities are often submerged under waves of financial success and business ambition. We have no time nor inclination for "Art for Art's sake;" there must also be money in it.

In combination with other structures, spires and towers are somewhat monumental in purpose, though these were originally intended for use, either as campaniles or as observatories when enemies were expected, and for hurling hot pitch and Greek fire on their heads as soon as they arrived. When to the strength and magnitude of defensive towers, grace of form and beauty of detail were added, they came to be recognized as among the most impressive examples of the builder's art, the most effective of decorative features. Seen from a distance, the simplest of strictly utilitarian structures, be-smoked and be-sooted steam chimneys, greatly improve the landscape of a city. If beauty is ever recognized as an essential element in all the work of our hands, as it will be when we are sufficiently civilized - say, for instance, as highly civilized in this direction as the Japanese - so obvious an opportunity for combining the two as exists in these great organs of respiration, will not be neglected, and every steam chimney, like every urban park and church spire, will be beautiful not only to the stockholders and the employees but to all good people in sight of it. Of course, long before that time the "smoke nuisance" will be not merely "abated" but abolished, and there will be no stain on the escutcheons, or the chimneys, of the great corporations.

From monumental to industrial architecture, by way of the chimney tops, is an easy step and highly suggestive of the close relation between the useful and the beautiful. If industrial architecture is given a shelf by itself, there are few cities that would make a more creditable showing than this city of homes and industry. The venerable buildings of the United States Armory are models of simplicity and agreeable proportions. It is undoubtedly through their silent influence that many of the more important factories in the city exhibit a thoughtful regard for careful, harmonious design.

It appears, therefore, that in modification of Nature's perfect legacy by means of architectural garments, we have not gone far astray. There is health and hope and vigor in us, and while much remains to be done, there is comparatively little that needs to be undone.

IV. Looking Forward

1. Bed Rock

In this age of science and certainty one takes large risks who ventures any other vaticination than cautious reasoning from cause to effect. "Don't never prophesy unless you know" is excellent advice, yet every man whose mind is not comatose will sometimes yield to temptation and try to describe his air castles, not always providing for them a visible means of support.

Already Springfield has a foundation whereon to rear the temple of a goodly city whose extent and abiding wealth will be limited only by the intelligence, industry and unity of its citizens. Let intelligence stand first. He would be a poor student of history and human nature who failed to see that the nobler qualities that raise one community above another are intimately related to physical beauty and the cultivated appreciation of it; who does not know that if our material work gives lasting pleasure it is because of its being the expression of high intellectual and moral qualities which it, in turn, develops and sustains. We can not be too often or too forcibly reminded that it is a crime to inflict upon a city any conspicuous work that does not embody the highest skill at our command.

Every man's house is his castle, and in the absence of a king he is at liberty to make it as appallingly ugly as he pleases - provided he has no aesthetic consciousness, or conscience, - but everything for which the city is responsible - and its responsibility should be largely extended - ought to be of such a character as to excite the admiration and respect of the intelligent citizens who help pay for it and of succeeding generations who must gaze on it indefinitely, or pay for its destruction. Surely this will require intelligence of the highest order in public officials. But the fountain does not rise higher than its source, and we cannot expect our representatives to hold loftier ideals than our own.

After intelligence there must be industry in its broadest sense; that is enterprise, public spirit, executive ability. Whether hands or heads are given the highest place, either without the other is a one-armed soldier. We may chase the devil around the stump in an endless argument only to reach the same conclusion, which is that tireless enterprise and dauntless valor are wasted unless wisdom stands at the helm; and, conversely, that the highest intelligence is like the wind that bloweth where it listeth until it has taken form in doughty deeds.

What organization is to an army, a pilot to a ship on a rock-bound coast, a goal to a race, unity of purpose is in the effort to improve a city. This implies a well-considered, generally-approved, comprehensive plan, far-reaching, disinterested as to localities, and at the same time elastic and adaptable. Without this, chaos and confusion, aesthetically speaking, will persist to the end; Springfield will not surpass but fall behind other cities, and really noble results can be reached only at long intervals and by costly sacrifice. The one great overwhelming idea of the present age, the chief outcome of all that has been accomplished in the way of human civilization since the world began, is the unity of mankind and its corollary, the obligation and necessity for concerted action. This appears in all affairs, large and small. In families, in business and educational organizations, in municipalities and in nations. We can not afford to elevate one corner of the edifice and leave the others to sink in the quicksand; no class must be lifted at the expense of another; no portion of a city be raised to the summit of luxury while the slums are still gasping in the depths of filth and unsanitary degradation.

2. What the River Asks and Gives

If an earthquake should suddenly convert Enfield dam into a second Mount Tom, reaching from Wilbraham mountains to Blandford, the river at Springfield might possibly appear to be lost in an inland sea; but barring such an interesting cataclysm it will be safe to predict that the river will always be one of our permanent assets, as it always has been our most attractive physical feature. Whatever happens to our railroads, our streets, our merchandise and our morals, the river will never cease to run through the city. It is ours to cross, ours to embellish, ours to cleanse and navigate.

As to the crossing, the days for temporizing are over. We are too rich and too wise to build bridges that must be removed, re-built, or strengthened and enlarged during the next one or two centuries. Bridges over large streams should be among the most permanent of all artificial constructions. Established thoroughfares are supremely conservative institutions. The Appian Way, which has existed for two thousand years and more, the Bay Path, and a thousand more, indicate that nothing is more tenacious of life than a public highway. When these great viaducts, in sublime defiance of Nature's primeval arrangements, turn water into dry land, paradoxically closing a gap in the surface of the earth that never can be closed, their construction becomes a performance worthy of solemn consecration, and the thing itself a fit object for pious adoration.

In most emphatic terms, a noble bridge declares the courage and skill of its builders, and there is no grander illustration of the beauty of utility than a bridge of scientific construction and scholarly design. In no other artificial construction is there so little occasion for questionable compromise between grace and convenience, between economy and strength, between daily drudgery and perennial delight. Is it likely that Springfield will neglect an opportunity that has been a century in coming? Is it likely that the county, of which Springfield is the capital, will fail to recognize the benefit sure to follow the closer union and more intimate relationship of the parts of which the county is composed?

To say that a bridge should be built across the Connecticut river in this city in the form of a broad avenue, uniting the east and west shores as closely as Main street unites State to the streets and avenues a thousand feet to the north and south, is not a fantastic speculation, a day dream - it is the plainest common sense of the equine variety. To propose anything inadequate in breadth and strength for the multitudinous traffic sure to occupy it twenty-five years hence - fifty years - a century, - is to forget the lesson of the North-end bridge and waste the public funds by temporizing. To affirm that dignity and stateliness, graceful proportions and beauty of detail are necessarily more difficult to attain than their opposites, is to betray disqualifying ignorance. Certainly the river is ours to cross. It is also ours to cleanse and embellish.

If Adam and Eve had been left in their original state of innocence and happiness, nobody appears to know exactly what would have happened to the rest of us, miserable sinners that we are - in nothing more miserable than in our occasionally graceless fashion of introducing modern improvements, and setting up the standards of half-civilized civilization on the ruins of semi-barbarous barbarism. In spoiling the heathen we have too often spoiled our own heritage. 'Squire Pynchon and Deacon Chapin, of blessed memory, found the water of the great river as sweet and clean as that of the streams that fed and feed it still - Jabish brook and Little river, the branches of the Westfield, Ware and Chicopee. Could it possibly have occurred to those shrewd and far-seeing pioneers that their enlightened descendants in this adorable valley would be obliged to spend, for drinking water alone, money enough to have bought the whole of the royal grant from Nova Scotia to New Amsterdam, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, all on account of their own short-sighted perversity? Those pioneers may be pardoned for thinking - if they thought of it at all - that the broad, flowing river would no more be damaged by the impurities that escaped from their scattered settlements than is the sea by the wrecks that are rotting in its depths. We know better. We know that we have deliberately and selfishly polluted the noble stream; that its impurity is increasing every year; that it will go on increasing until in sheer self-preservation we shall begin the reform that ought to have been begun a generation ago, and which will cost more and more every year it is delayed. To cure the evil immediately would be as impossible as to eradicate catarrhal ragweed and malarial mosquitoes in a single season; but that fact does not exonerate us if we leave it unchecked. It does not justify us in bequeathing an unclean legacy to our unborn heirs.

Neither is this an idle speculation. In many cities of our own and other countries, sewage and rivers are not invited to occupy the same bed to the utter waste of one and the hopeless ruin of the other, and so long as we continue this offensive habit we deserve to be written down as among those who strain at gnats and swallow camels.

Cleansing naturally precedes embellishment; but if each waits for the other in this case, it is to be feared that we shall remain ragged and dirty for many years. We leave the river in its filth because the banks are filthy; we leave the leprosy of the banks undisturbed because the river is unclean. Under wise business management the salvation of neither would wait for the other.

The reclamation and embellishment of the river bank will not require its exclusive use for park purposes; quite the contrary. Its embellishment should be like that of a dining-table when it is loaded with an abundance of wholesome food; of a workshop decorated with the finest tools and machinery; of a fertile farm ornamented by flocks and herds and bountiful crops. The most beautiful effects will not be produced by treating the banks as ornamental pleasure grounds. The city can not afford such an occupation, nor would it be suitable for land so central and valuable for commercial purposes. We may have plenty of serpents, but it would cost too much to make a Garden of Eden between Main street and the river. Court square and its proper treatment will be a sufficiently expensive luxury in the business section. There is plenty of room for riparian parks between Springfield and Holyoke, between Springfield and Thompsonville. This land is also too valuable for railroad uses, for steam railroads not only spoil all the land they occupy, but they depreciate the value of property for a considerable distance on either side.

Doubtless this happy marriage of use and beauty would mean, except where wharves are necessary, an esplanade with the open river on one side and business buildings fronting it on the other. The expense of constructing heavy buildings at water's edge would be great, but a protected embankment suitable for walks and drives would be simple, affording ample opportunity for decorative features next the water without loss of room valuable for building.

Inseparably connected with the development of the river bank is the question of navigation. In navigation itself, rocks are objectionable, but they make good standing ground in forecasting the future of this subject. Among these bed rocks is the stubborn fact that heavy freight can be more economically transported by floating it in water than by any known contrivance of wheels on land, or wings in the air. Another fact is well established: commercial science abhors waste as Nature abhors a vacuum. Therefore when it can be shown that moving the freight, taken to and from Holyoke and Springfield, by water instead of land will effect an annual saving equal to a profitable percentage on the cost of making the river navigable for steam or other tugs and their trailing lines of barges, then the river will be made navigable to Springfield and Holyoke. Business common sense will not long neglect so plain an opportunity to save and make money, which is just as much a duty - provided it is done honestly - as eating. So in our treatment of the river and its banks, we must anticipate wharves on both sides with suitable approaches and conveniences for the attendant work. They may not come this year, nor this decade, or generation, but we can not help thinking they are sure to come. "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small," and they keep on grinding.

Part 3. Other Goals to Be Gained

Giving the river the first place in considering the future, there is much to be done in the way of perfecting the minor parks and increasing their number. In this department the first step, as in making a rabbit pie, is capturing the principal ingredient - first get the land. It would be a wild undertaking for the city to attempt to build at once river walls from Pecowsic to Chicopee, construct big wharves, complete the glories of Court square, build a new bridge, and fill up the waste and vacant places throughout the city with fountains and flowers, trees and statues; it would be the wisdom of Solomon himself to secure land that will sometime be available for both business and pleasure, while it is of little actual value.

It can hardly be hoped that the whole of Hampden park will be acquired for the sole use and occupancy of the public; it is not unreasonable to expect that a river-bank margin of suitable width may become part of our park system. The land north of Hampden park has been mentioned; a similar piece across West street, north of the bridge on the river bank, if skillfully treated in connection with the causeway leading up to the bridge, would make a dignified approach to this connecting link with West Springfield, and would be no more than a "retort courteous" to the charming approach from the other side. Beyond this the river bank further north might be secured while it is still unoccupied.

Leaving the river, there is much unimproved land in the Atwater estate, some of which is apparently impossible of utilization except for parks or pasturage, either at present or in the future, and this should not be omitted in plans for future development.

The land surrounding the Van Horn reservoir has been suggested as easily convertible into a pleasant pleasure ground. Whether these ponds are permanently retained as a part of our water supply or not, there would be great advantage in making them a part of our park system. And, again, the shores of the Watershops pond; it is not conceivable that any other practicable treatment of the land along this lovely body of water could add more to its commercial value than the reservation by the city for park purposes of a belt including the road , giving to building lots fronting the lake an outlook across the intervening park and water toward the east. In fact, the number and extent of the suburban parks and drives that may easily be established in the future round about Springfield is limited only by the taste and enterprise of the citizens.

Passing from these more or less ornamental features to just plain streets, one of the obvious improvements, easy enough now but growing more difficult every year, is the widening of certain portions of some of the narrower thoroughfares. Most of the buildings on minor streets, and many of those on the principal avenues, have, at most, but a few years to live, and should not be allowed to cause a permanent defect in the city. The best time to make the crooked straight is before petrifaction or ossification takes place; the next best is any time before the cost of straightening becomes prohibitive. Still more foolish is the sparing of an old tree. We have the best authority for hewing down the trees that cumber the ground, which is exactly what every tree does that stands in the way of something better.

Of still greater importance in the scientific evolution of the city's ground plan, is the extension of certain avenues which came to untimely ends before they had finished their course. We may not expect a Baron Haussman or "Boss" Shepard to drive their civic battering rams through palaces and warehouses, slums and railway stations, for the greater glory of the city, but we indulge a reasonable hope that some time a strenuous city government backed by an enlightened public sentiment will accomplish the same ends more economically though more slowly.

Fulton and Water streets, in their present divorced condition, can never fulfill their appointed mission; Dwight, that should be a broad avenue at least a mile and a half long, is incontinently barricaded by the misplaced union station; the convenience and business value of Chestnut street are seriously impaired by its steep descent into State; and for all of Ward one lying east of the Boston and Maine railroad, northward to the Chicopee line, there is no public highway to the North-end bridge above the Memorial church.

In regard to the future architecture of the city, we may be sure that its improvement will depend upon the cultivation of popular taste. Good architecture grows as slowly as fundamental Christianity, and, to continue the comparison, its shallow, obtrusive expression often attracts more attention, is more sure of admiration and imitation than the genuine article. Gradually examples of the best in architecture will find place in conspicuous portions of the city, and their quiet, persistent influence will lift us above the meretricious and commonplace. The significance of color, of harmony on a large scale, of proportion, which in architecture is like the lost chord in music, will be profoundly felt if never fully understood. The intersections of streets and the approaches to parks and bridges will be emphasized by monumental features; spires, towers and domes will exemplify the abounding resources and activity. As in the elder days of Rome, "to be a Roman was greater than to be a king," so the citizens of Springfield can be nobly proud of their lofty ambitions and worthy achievements.

--Eugene C. Gardner


It would be impossible to mention all the public-spirited citizens who, by their generosity and wise foresight, have helped to make Springfield a beautiful city. Among these in recent years, but who have passed away, Tilly Haynes occupies a conspicuous position, not only because of his large bequest, but because of the generous spirit which prompted him to leave it without restrictions that might impair its usefulness. The extension of Court square was always a cherished purpose of his, - it would not be fair to call it a dream, because it was too explicit, too obviously practicable. In the selection of the site for a new court house a generation ago, it was anticipated that sometime in the future the extension of the square would give this notable building a worthy setting. All of that Mr. Haynes foresaw, realizing full well that the inevitable future growth of the city would require an enlargement of the central public plaza. His bequest and the courageous spirit that prompted it has been like a beacon light, encouraging and leading others to join the ranks and keeping alive the thought and purpose of a beautiful city.

Grateful memory is also due to O. H. Greenleaf for his liberal gift of land in Forest park, land which might have been sold advantageously to the owner without direct benefit to the city, and which men of more selfish character or narrower vision would have been sure to hold for private profit. His interest in this, as in all matters of public welfare, was maintained and practically manifested as long as he lived.

Another who during his life did much, very much to increase the visible beauty of the city, was Justin Sackett. He had an innate love of natural beauty and rare skill, not in attempting to create, or rival what Nature alone can achieve, but in preserving the natural beauty that only needs loving care and appreciation to become more and more lovely with the passing years. Springfield abounds with evidences of his keen insight and unselfish and well-directed efforts to preserve and develop what a bountiful Providence has provided.

No one needs to be reminded of the long, disinterested and, happily, still active service of Daniel J. Marsh. It may almost be said that without his constant personal effort, we should have had no Forest park in its present shape; that what is growing every year to be reckoned one of our brightest civic jewels - in fact a whole case of jewelry - would not have existed, or would have been at least of little note, liable at any time to be sacrificed to private interest. Surely this is something compelling our gratitude, a direct refutation of the cynical words of the hypocritical Anthony, that the evil men do lives after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones. The reverse is true; such good deeds as these live on with increasing influence from generation to generation.

Neither can we hear of this great public pleasure ground and recreation field with its simple natural charms and the rare beauties of the southern portion without remembering how much we owe to E. H. Barney, whose untiring zeal and noble generosity have done so much to enhance and make permanent the rare charms of Forest park.

Not to complete the list even approximately, but to mention one of the younger citizens who has dome much in the way of laying broad foundations for the lasting beauty of this city, Nathan D. Bill should be remembered. With the liberal devotion of his own time and energy to public interests, with his broad conceptions and quick perception of practical values, we can not help looking to him for further achievement and leadership.

These men are not mentioned as being the only ones whose unselfish devotion has been manifested in the improvement of our city, or with the idea of giving even the smallest account of what each one has done - that would make a very long story; and the most valuable part of their work is not in the actual accomplishment, excellent as these have been - it is in the example and in the incentive which they have given and are still giving to their contemporaries and successors. They have not been merely thinking and talking, they have been doing, and by what has been done they have shown the still nobler possibilities of the future.

--E. C. G.

'Springfield Present & Prospective, Educational Institutions' (Pond & Campbell, 1905)

Title/contents page

Educational Institutions

It is a matter of record that, in June, 1679, the town of Springfield contracted with Thomas Stebbins, Jr., to build a schoolhouse for the sum of fourteen pounds, or seventy dollars in terms of present currency. In September, 1898, this same community of Springfield opened to her youth a high school, whose cost, including land, building and equipment reached a total of four hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

While such comparison does not discredit the zeal of the early fathers for popular education, it does show the readiness of Springfield to spend in generous measure for her schools, and indicates how great have been the changes in organization and method since the time of the seventeen-by-twenty-two-foot schoolhouse built by Thomas Stebbins, Jr.

In the early days no special committee had charge of the work of popular education. At town meetings and in the sessions of selectmen, questions relating to teachers, pupils and school buildings were considered and settled. The need of direct supervision was afterwards met by the organization of school districts, each under the care of a local committee. But the district system did not make for progress. Petty jealousies and neighborhood quarrels divided the town and set district in opposition to district. Thus a high school, opened in 1827, closed its doors from 1839 to 1841 because of opposition from the outlying parts of town. A superintendent of schools, the first officer of the kind in Massachusetts, was appointed in 1840, and again divided public opinion compelled the abolition of this office after something like a year's trial.

Meanwhile the State, under the leadership of Horace Mann, was calling for a more efficient conduct of schools and for higher standards of instruction. In response to these demands the town began to consider the placing of all control in the hands of a central committee.

After much discussion the abolition of the district system was brought to pass in 1855. With this date and under the policy then inaugurated begins the modern school department of Springfield.

Next in logical order was the appointment of a superintendent of schools. The growth of the city, the increase of school attendance and the multiplication of buildings made it possible for the committee to look after the details of school administration. Neither could any lines of progress or betterment laid down. After the usual period of discussion and agitation the office of superintendent of schools was created and measures were taken to place the educational system of the city in charge of an expert, elected by and responsible to the school committee.

Since 1865, when Mr. E. A. Hubbard, the first superintendent, took up his duties, the city school system has made steady and permanent advance. For this progress the city is in large measure indebted to the tact and leadership of the men to whom she has given in trust the care of her public schools. Under Mr. Hubbard, from 1865 to 1873, many of the older style grammar schools, such as the Barrows and Hooker buildings, were erected. New methods of instruction were introduced. The high school grew in numbers and finally called for a new home. This was provided by the erection of a building now used by the State street grammar school. By careful selection the personnel of the teaching force was improved. Coherence and unity were given to the school system. Public confidence was secured and found expression in generous appropriations.

Superintendent Admiral P. Stone extended and perfected the work of organization. In his annual reports he brought before the people the vital facts of the schools. his term of service, 1873 to 1888, was a time of financial depression in the country at large and of reduced appropriations in the city. Mr. Stone by his ability in organization did much to bring the schools uninjured through this trying experience.

Dr. Thomas Balliet assumed charge of the schools in April, 1888. He brought to his task a broad and thorough training in the philosophy of education and a mastery of the best methods of instruction. His inspiration and influence soon made themselves felt on teachers, committee and community. New lines of development were opened to meet the social and economic needs of the city. Kindergartens were placed on a permanent basis. The practical spirit of the time showed itself in the opening of cooking schools for both day and evening classes. Elementary evening schools were improved and extended and an evening high school established. With clear understanding of the city's industrial needs, Doctor Balliet encouraged the development of the manual training course. In 1898, a Mechanic Arts high school was organized. This institution is now known as Technical high school, and is intended to join academic training with courses in shop work and applied science. An evening school of trades was opened in connection with this department of instruction.

Material equipment made rapid advances during the period from 1888 to 1904. Over a million dollars were spent on school buildings and among these are many that are recognized as among the best examples of school architecture in the country.

In May, 1904, Doctor Balliet resigned his position to enter on his work as dean of the School of Pedagogy in New York university. His successor, Mr. Wilbur F. Gordy, was chosen in June, 1904. Mr. Gordy's long and successful experience in school duties and his understanding of the practical problems of education insure the maintenance of the high standards of Springfield and a continued progress along right lines. The community has already given Mr. Gordy its confidence and looks on him as worthy to wear the mantle of his high office.

This brief historical sketch shows that in the half-century since the schools of Springfield were brought under one system of management, notable results in popular education have been secured. While there has been general advance in all lines of instruction, this city has certain characteristics that have given it a unique reputation in the land. A prime cause of the excellence of the schools is the intelligent interest of the people in education. School men and citizens are one in purpose to maintain the schools in the most efficient condition. The community has always been able to command the service of strong men and women for its school committee. The committee has wisely granted large powers to the superintendent and has not embarrassed him by needless limitations in the appointment of teachers or in the planning of courses in instruction. Politics and personal or partisan influence have never found an abiding place in the council of the school board. Hence in selecting teachers the only question is fitness for duties of the position to be filled. Incompetent or inefficient teachers are not retained.

The spirit and morale of the teaching body is not unusual. Personal interest in the children and care for needs of the individual have come to be traditions of the service. There is a fine enthusiasm in their work and an active interest in promoting the well-being of the community at large. As a result of the excellence of the Springfield schools and the strength of her instructors there has been an increasing tendency on the part of other cities to seek for candidates among the ranks of the local teachers. Too often these attempts have been successful. On the other hand it is worthy of note that loyalty to Springfield has led many teachers to remain, even at some financial sacrifice.

In her educational policy, Springfield has always sought to give abundant room for individual initiative and has never hampered her teachers by petty restrictions. Routine details have been minimized. The demand has been for the impress of the personality of the instructor on the plastic nature of the child. Work under such conditions is sure to attract and hold men and women filled with the true spirit of the teacher.

The same consideration for the needs of the child is shown in methods and courses of study. One illustration from the policy of the high schools will make clear the Springfield policy. While many boys and girls are fitted for college each year and sent to a large number of different institutions of learning, the methods of instruction and curriculum are not dominated by the requirements for admission to the college. Rather is regard had to the best general training of the youth, in science, language, mathematics, history and art. Commercial and technical courses rank on an equality with college preparatory work. The high school maintains its own individuality and independence. Yet no schools rank better in standing with the colleges and the success of Springfield graduates in higher institutions and the many distinctions that fall to them show that education for general efficiency brings in the long run better results than special preparation for an examination.

Another characteristic of Springfield's educational system is the emphasis laid on practical studies. In this respect the city has shown a progressive spirit and open-minded attitude. For many years instruction has been given in cooking, sewing, and drawing, both free-hand and mechanical. Manual training is thoroughly taught in the grammar grades, and finds its culmination in the excellent courses of the Technical high school in wood and metal work, and in the evening school of trades with its provisions for instruction in various skilled industries.

With the increase of the foreign-born population there has come demand for increased facilities in evening schools to teach elementary branches. Such schools are maintained in the Elm street building and at Indian Orchard. In 1904, there was a total enrollment in these schools of 1,430. All the evening classes, including the high school, evening draughting, free-hand drawing and trades school, gave a total enrollment of 2,421 students.

Practical studies are given a large place in the evening high school and the classes in bookkeeping, arithmetic, stenography, typewriting and laboratory work in science are well attended. While the Central high school holds firmly to the idea of general as opposed to special training, opportunities are given for a commercial education. The ready demand for high school graduates by business men testifies to the value of the instruction in both academic and technical subjects. Yearly more positions are offered than there can be found graduates to fill.

In this connection attention is called to the growth and development of the Technical high school. The experimental stage of manual training lasted from 1886 to 1898. At first the courses were mainly in the grammar grades, but in 1896 a four-years' course was established in connection with the Central high school. In 1898 an independent school of secondary grade, known as the Mechanic Arts high school, was organized. In May, 1904, the name was changed to Technical high school. The school for a long time occupied rented quarters in the Springfield Industrial institute at Winchester Park but a fine building is now under construction on Elliott street at a cost of over $300,000, and planned to provide large facilities for instruction in academic and technical studies. Courses in home economics and domestic science will be given in this school. The building will accommodate nine hundred pupils.

The practical side of education is kept in due subordination to the claims of general culture. Such studies as free-hand drawing and music have been recognized in the curriculum of all grades. In the Central high school, classes in music analysis and harmony mark an advanced line of study, and have received special mention from the state board of education.

Within recent years expert attention has been given to the proper physical development of children. A supervisor of physical culture has the oversight of the pupils of the grammar and primary grades. Games and light gymnastics are provided. Outdoor sports are encouraged and directed. In the high school all athletics are under the supervision of a competent physical director, while every boy is required to do definite gymnasium work. The school board is now earnestly urging the organization of a system of medical inspection.

In material equipment, the city has provided most generously for her schools.

The buildings recently erected for grammar and high school purposes have attracted favorable comment from visitors. Mention has already been made of the Central and Technical high schools. In 1903, the Chestnut street grammar school was completed at a cost of $135,961. The Forest Park building, dating from 1899, represents an outlay of $90,000. The William street school, including land and building, is valued at $76,000. Provision is made of the most modern and efficient appliances for sanitation, including heat and ventilation. Such buildings with their tasteful decorations and neat surroundings constitute no small factor in the education of the child's taste and contribute to right conduct.

Tribute to the excellence of Springfield's school system is given in the attention her schools have received from students of education. In 1902, commissioners from New South Wales, officially delegated by their government to examine the school systems of the world, spent two days in Springfield, and in their report gave high praise to what they saw in this city. Many foreign delegates to the educational congress at St. Louis in 1904 made it a point of inspecting the schools of Springfield on their way home. Most significant was the visit of Dr. Paul Albrecht, minister of public instruction for Alsace-Lorraine, who made a special study of methods of teaching ancient and modern languages, a field in which Germans are supposed to be masters.

These visits were due in part to the impression made by the exhibition of the Springfield school as the exposition at Chicago in 1893, Buffalo in 1900, and finally at St. Louis in 1904. At the St. Louis fair three gold medals were awarded, one for elementary education in arithmetic, one for evening trades classes, and one for secondary education.

Springfield, now fully entered on her second half-century of existence as a city, possesses a great treasure in the organization, equipment, standards and spirit of her schools and teachers. Generous appropriations from the public treasury, cordial support of the school board, freedom from political and personal influences in the city government, are the civic factors that have contributed to this result. Under such favorable conditions, capable, broad-minded and expert superintendents, joined in a common work with loyal and efficient teachers, have instilled through the schools into the youth of the community the best of their life and character. No better foundation can a city lay for continued prosperity. Economic success depends on an abundant supply of trained workmen. These the schools are furnishing, and in greater numbers and variety as departments of instruction multiply. Public peace and safety depend on the right attitude of the citizen towards all questions of law and order. Such lessons faithful teachers supply by example and precept. Great problems of the municipality call for minds capable of grasping details and reaching sound conclusions. The exercises of the classroom give this mental power to the coming voter. Above all else should the spirit and atmosphere of the schoolroom influence the youth to consider his higher duties to the city and state, duties that call for self-sacrifice in the interest of the community, the true civic spirit that alone makes democracy possible.

As Springfield has loyally supported her schools in the past, she will in the future provide fully the means and conditions necessary to assure progress and an even better adaptation to the needs of the public weal.

Certain Other Schools

Springfield, through the enterprise of her citizens, aided by her advantages of easy access to New York and Boston, and by her attraction as a residential city, has been selected as a home for two institutions of learning that are doing interesting, unique and valuable work. These are the International Young Men's Christian Association Training school and the American International college, formerly known as the French-American college. The International Training school was founded in 1885 by Rev. David Allen Reed in connection with the School for Christian Workers. In 1890, it became independent, and in 1891 was established in its present home on the shores of Massasoit lake. Here it possesses a property of thirty acres of land with the use of the lake two and a half miles long for boating purposes.

The first building, a model gymnasium, was erected in 1894. Connected with this is a fine athletic field. Since 1894, there have been added a dormitory, boat house and Woods hall, a building that provides a dining-room and kitchen, together with facilities for social purposes. The total value of the property is estimated at $150,000.

As its name indicates, the special function of the school is to train workers for the service of the Young Men's Christian association. Two distinct fields are recognized, secretaryship and that of physical director. This work has been done with great success and the reputation of the school is so high that application for its graduates are five times greater than the number of men available. Universities, academies and high schools are also looking to this institution for men to take charge of their athletics and physical training. Graduates of the school are to be found in many of the important cities of the United States and Canada and widely scattered through the foreign field.

As an equipment for instruction the school has a library of seven thousand volumes and over sixty thousand pamphlets and magazines. Many of these books are of unique value as they relate to the history, methods and development of the Young Men's Christian association. Laboratories are also provided for practical experimentation in physiology, physics and psychology.

The faculty is composed of nine professors whose work is supplemented by the assistance of eleven instructors and twelve lecturers. Among the courses given are those on history and literature of the Young Men's Christian association, anatomy, psychology, sociology, physiology, anthropometry and the Bible. The graduates of the school are exerting a potent influence on the youth of America by their teaching and example. Purity of life and high ideals are inculcated through the medium of the associations, while a positive work is being done through schools and universities to elevate the tone of athletics and to make out-door and in-door sports a means of character building.

As a factor that makes for a vigorous manhood the International Training school is winning general recognition and the generous support of men of means. Its location in Springfield is an advantage to the school and a credit to the city.

The French-American college was founded in Lowell May 1, 1885, to provide for the needs of the great and growing French population of New England. Immigration from Canada had assumed such proportions as to cause serious concern to those interested in the social and religious condition of Massachusetts and neighboring states. To train up teachers and leaders for this new element of our citizenship was felt to be an imperative need of the times. After an interval of three years the college was transferred to Springfield, where a building, Owen Street hall, was erected for its accommodation. A dwelling-house known as the Cottage, was purchased and put at the disposal of the institution. The college now possesses in addition a gymnasium hall, a printing office, a dwelling-house, occupied by one of the professors, and the Woman's hall. The last structure was finished in 1899 and contains a chapel, reception hall, dining-room and kitchen, and dormitory provisions for young women in attendance on the college. The college grounds contain five and one-half acres, and the total property is valued at $90,000.

Since its foundation the institution has broadened its scope to include, besides French speaking peoples, students from the Italian, Greek, Armenian, Polish and Spanish races, and in 1905 the name was changed to American International college. Rapidly changing conditions in New England have made advisable such a widening of the influence of the college. To meet the needs of its constituency two courses of study are offered by this institution. The college proper aims to provide instruction similar in range and thoroughness to that commonly accepted as included in the requirement for the degree of A.B. Those who complete the collegiate course are qualified to enter on professional training and to become teachers among their own people.

The second department, known as the French-American academy, covers the ground of a secondary education. Its regular classical course calls for a term of study of four years. In connection with the academy is the Gymnasium Hall school, which provides special training for pupils who are deficient in some branches. It supplements admirably the work of the academy proper. Religious training constitutes an important part of the curriculum in both college and academy.

Students are given the opportunity to learn the art of printing and to care for the grounds and the buildings under supervision. The American International college has under great difficulties succeeded in doing a valuable work in training the young people who come under its care in the duties and responsibilities of Christian living and good citizenship.

Springfield is fortunate in possessing two private schools of high grade. The older of these is The Elms, a school for girls, with fully organized courses of instruction of high, intermediate and primary grades. This school was opened in Hadley in 1866, and in 1881 it removed to Springfield, where it has an attractive location on High street. The removal involved no change in management. The Elms has a high standing and is recognized for the excellence of its college preparatory work by the leading women's colleges, such as Smith, Vassar, Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley. All these institutions have granted this school the right of admission by certificate. The Elms has a reputation for thorough instruction in all branches. It offers good courses in music, art, physical culture and the study of current literature.

The MacDuffie school for girls is most fortunate in its situation. It occupies the homestead of the late Samuel Bowles on a spot near the center of the city and yet quiet and retired. Well organized courses of study are pursued in this school under competent instructors. The departments cover the entire period from kindergarten to entrance to college. Music, language and art are given careful attention. Graduates of the school are accepted on certificate by New England colleges for women. Preparation is also made for the examination for admission to Radcliffe. The school is attended by day pupils from the city and has a number of resident scholars who come from a distance.

William Orr

Technical Education

Springfield stands foremost among the cities of the country in the prominence given in her educational system to those school exercises which give training and information that may be quickly turned to practical account. She was among the first to introduce manual training. This was to be expected. The first city in Massachusetts to elect a superintendent of schools, a city that has always been characterized by the keenest interest on the part of her citizens in the education of her youth, generously supporting the schools and taking pride in keeping them well up to the times in equipment and efficiency, was sure to be the first city to appreciate the industrial needs of the age and to make an effort to meet them.

Nineteen years ago manual training was introduced into the schools of this city. It is a credit to the wisdom of the school committee then in power and to the intelligence and public spirit of the citizens that a beginning was made in this important form of educational work eight years before the law requiring it was written in the statutes. Nor is this fact the only evidence in the city's belief in the policy of making the schools thoroughly practical. In 1898, after twelve years of experimenting, Springfield entered upon a distinct and comprehensive system of manual and technical training. An independent high school was then organized, of which the distinctive feature was that every student enrolled must take a four-year's course in the mechanic arts, together with a full course in the usual academic studies. In the same year an evening trades school was opened, which, at small expense to the city, offers free instruction and practice in fundamental trades.

Meanwhile, the manual training, sewing, and cooking lessons of the grammar grades took their place side by side with other school exercises in regular school hours, and were greatly improved. At the present time there are well-equipped manual training-rooms and school kitchens in nearly all of the grammar schools. Instruction in bench work with wood is given to all the boys of the seventh, eight, and ninth grades, and for the boys of the ninth grade these lessons come once a week. Probably no city in the country has so thorough a system of elementary manual training as that now in force in Springfield. The high grade of mechanical work done in the Technical high school is largely due to the excellent preparation which most of its students receive under the manual training teachers of the grammar schools.

But the crowning evidence of Springfield's educational enterprise and of her sympathy with modern tendencies in education is seen in the liberal provision made for the development of the new Technical high school. The building now being erected on Elliot street, designed by the local well-known architects, E. C. and G. C. Gardner, will be, when completed, the largest and probably the best equipped high school building of this type in New England. It is 238 feet long by 214 feet deep, and is designed to accommodate nine hundred pupils. There are twenty-two classrooms in the main building, varying somewhat in size, the largest accommodating eighty pupils and the smallest twenty-four. Besides the regular classrooms in the main building, there are eight rooms on the top floor to be devoted to physics and chemistry. Four large rooms on this floor are also available for work in domestic science and the industrial arts. In the basement there is a gymnasium 76 feet long by 57 feet wide, including corridors, with two large rooms for lockers and baths and four other rooms to be given over to athletic purposes. A capacious lunchroom and other accessory rooms are also located in the basement. The running-track of the gymnasium opens into the main corridor on the first floor directly opposite the front entrance to the building. Above this, on the second floor, is located the assembly hall, which has a gallery entered from the third floor.

The mechanical wing, situated in the rear of the main building, is of peculiar design and construction and well suited to its special uses. In the basement of this wing is the forge shop, 67 feet square, covered by a monitor roof of special design which admits light and provides for ventilation. On one side of the forge shop are located the boiler and engine rooms, and on the other the foundry and wood-turning shops. The basement also contains two rooms for the plumbing classes and necessary locker rooms. On the first floor of the mechanical wing are three rooms designed for machine-shop work and three for joinery and pattern-making. All these rooms are well lighted by large and numerous windows, and some of them receive light through the low roof which covers the main part of the mechanical wing. The rear of this wing is carried up two stories higher than the main part, and on the first of these additional stories are three rooms, one for electrical work, another for wood-finishing, another for free-hand drawing. The top floor of this elevated portion is to be entirely given over to the department of mechanical drawing, and is divided into two large drawing-rooms, a lecture-room, and several accessory rooms.

The building is designed to be of moderate cost and yet provide everything essential to a thoroughly-equipped technical high school. It will cost, exclusive of the lot, but including the necessary equipment, not less than $265,000. Ordinary red brick is the principal material used for its construction, but the main building is finished in a special grade of red brick, with Indiana limestone trimmings. The central portion around the main entrance is entirely of Indiana limestone. The entire building is of fireproof construction of the modern reinforced concrete type. This form of construction not only furnishes complete protection against fire, but insures durability, freedom from sound transmission and from dust and other unsanitary conditions. The corridor floors are of granolithic or terrazzo material, and the stairs have concrete treads. The heating and ventilation system depends on the forced circulation of hot water with direct radiation and an abundant supply of fresh air at a moderate temperature under the control of pressure and exhaust fans. A 125-horse-power engine with a direct-connected electrical generator furnishes the power for the heating and ventilation system, for the machine work of the mechanical departments, and for a considerable portion of the artificial lighting. Great care has been taken to give the building a throughly modern and efficient equipment.

The new building will furnish facilities not only for more effective training along lines which are followed at present, but it will afford an opportunity for the development of many other lines of technical training which are much to be desired. On general principles there is no reason why the advantages of a technical high school should be offered exclusively to boys, as has hitherto been the practice in Springfield. The general policy of the school is to connect the education of youth during the high-school period with the practical life of the times, without sacrificing a strong academic course in all the essentials. Girls need this practical training during the secondary school period as well as boys. In view of the direct influence upon the home life, the teaching of home economics and domestic arts to girls in a practical way is of the greatest importance. Many of the industrial arts also offer to young women greater opportunities every year. In several cities where schools of this type have been carried on, girls were admitted from the first. In this respect Springfield is behind other cities; but with the opening of the new building for the Technical high school it need not long remain in that position.

The value of technical education to the individual and its importance to the community are sure to be realized more and more as the opportunities for acquiring it are extended. This extension is an assured fact in Springfield; and in providing liberally for practical training the city is keeping well abreast of the times in her educational policy. The most notable fact in the educational world of the present day is the rapid expansion of technical schools. For many years such schools have formed a large part of great national systems of education in continental Europe, where they have been most important factors in determining industrial and commercial progress. In America they are of more recent origin, since they are, for the most part, the result rather than, as in Europe, the cause of material development. They have come in our country as the natural consequence of great discoveries in applied science which have given men a new and greatly enlarged control over natural forces, revealed unexpected stores of wealth in our vast natural resources, enormously multiplied our manufactured products and correspondingly increased our capacity to supply the world's markets. They have come in answer to a demand for men of scientific education and special training to study the problems and direct the enterprises of the day or to take the humbler but no less important places in the modern industrial world. They have come because a practical age needs practical schools.

The first answer to this demand in this country came in the establishment of technical schools of college grade to train men for the engineering professions. These schools have been supported partly from private endowments and partly from funds appropriated by states in which they are located; and they have also received assistance from the general government through the sale of public lands. But it was not enough that the colleges alone should shape their courses to the needs of a scientific and industrial age. The public schools under municipal control, always quick to follow the lead of the higher educational institutions, are responding to the demand for practical studies and a training designed to connect school life more closely with the life of the times. To the popular mind the new education means better training for the vocations. To the leaders in educational thought it means much more than this. It means a new force appealing to the interest of pupils, and a certain completeness in the pupil's development through the influence of motor activities. It means an increased educational value in the work of the schools.

But however justified in theory, the idea has take firm hold of the public schools under the general name of manual training. In Massachusetts it finds recognition in a law requiring all cities and towns of twenty thousand inhabitants or more to maintain manual training as part of its elementary and high school system. In every state of the union the pressure of public opinion has been felt in favor of vitalizing the work of the schools by the introduction of studies and exercises that have close relation with the industrial and home life of the times. All classes and grades of schools, those supported by the endowment and tuition fees, as well as those maintained at municipal expense, are feeling the influence of this great movement for a more practical training than that which obtained in the schools and colleges of the country during the first three-quarters of the century just passed. It is doubtful if there has been for many years any improvement in educational thought and practice of greater present value or of better promise for the future than the emphasis now being given to the practical side of education through the various forms of manual and technical training.

But the present development of the practical element in the schools of Springfield has not been brought about at the expense of general culture, nor is it likely to lead to that result. The too early and perhaps over-emphasized specializing of some foreign schools will not be copied anywhere in America. It is certainly not the province of technical high schools to develop special skill by practice along narrow lines. The aim is breadth of training combined with effectiveness. All the older studies of proved value are retained and their value increased by giving them vital relations with practical life.

Charles F. Warner