“This is pretty incredible that we were able to spot it while driving downtown and they were taking it down, thinking boy, wouldn’t that look great at the gardens,” she said. “The whole thing is just really amazing.”
Tony Smith Wrecking, the company that is in charge of tearing down the Crowell-Collier building, donated and delivered the archway, Bennett said.
The reconstruction of the entrance may not be as it was at Crowell-Collier, but the focus is to preserve the history.
“One of our focus areas down here in Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum is history. The heritage of our area… We really want to preserve part of the history,” she said. “It probably won’t be reconstructed exactly as it was down there. Pieces of it will be used to make a new entrance out of the old artifacts that we have, so it will all be worked together and it will be part of the grand entrance.”
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Bennett also said work on the arboretum’s pavilion has started, and they were planning a grand opening, but it was put on hold.
“It’ll only take about a month from the time they start because the actual structure is already built,” Bennett said. “We were planning on having a grand opening, but due to COVID right now, we have to figure out when that grand opening is going to be… We can’t wait to really get all that going.”
The City of Springfield approved the demolition permit for the property in July 2019 and the main building, which includes the archway, was projected to be done as early as Christmas of last year.