Modern Happy Hour focuses on city’s architecture

Discover the emergence of the modern era in the architecture of downtown Springfield during the Modern Happy Hour tour on Wednesday.

Sponsored by the Springfield Preservation Alliance, this tour focuses mainly on the 1950s and 1960s architecture, said Kevin Rose, an alliance volunteer.

“This is the first tour we did when the Preservation Alliance got started,” Rose said. “At first it was a test to see if people were partial to modern architecture. We asked the people on the tour how many of them like it, and there weren’t many hands. I think they came out of curiosity about what the downtown has. But now we get a lot of people who like modern architecture.”

The event includes is a 45-minute walking tour, followed by a glass of wine, beer or soda at Season’s Bistro.

The Happy Hour tour traces the evolution of the downtown with a special emphasis on the financial sector.

“We’ll cover the early days of modernism, which was mostly led by banks in the 1950s,” said Rose. “Banks were always trying to one-up each other. They wanted to present to the public their traditional stability, but also emphasize they were on the cutting edge. So they would do that in their architecture. We also give attention to the community’s emphasis on renewal in the 1970s and we end the tour with the Credit Life building.”

The Springfield Preservation Alliance is an organization dedicated to recognize, preserve, and revitalize the architectural and cultural heritage of Springfield.

“More people are noticing what we’re doing now,” said Rose.

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