If you want to learn about the man whose aesthetic defines downtown, then you must come to the Springfield Preservation Alliance’s Charles Cregar Bike Tour. Cregar was the architect of some of the most recognizable buildings in the city of Springfield, including the Heritage Center, St. Raphael’s Catholic Church and Third Presbyterian.
“This is a brand-new tour,” said Kevin Rose, volunteer with the Alliance. “Cregar was the most prominent local Victorian architect. He designed almost everything between 1885 and 1893. He mostly did schools, government buildings, and churches.”
“This tour features churches, the Heritage Center, and two residences,” said Rose. “He’s not known for the residences, primarily because he was so recognized for his government and church works.”
Cregar probably would have built many more significant structures in Springfield, but he died at age 38 of ‘congestion of the brain.’ “They say he worked himself to death,” said Rose.
Participants should bring a bike. Helmets are encouraged. The tour is four and a half miles, but it is for novice bicyclists.
The Springfield Preservation Alliance is an organization dedicated to recognize, preserve and revitalize the architectural and cultural heritage of Springfield.