Walking Tour to Visit Tornado-Damaged MacDuffie School Campus

Historian Bill Hosley, a preservationist and former curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum, will lead a walking tour up Maple Street to the Ames Hill campus of the former MacDuffie School on Saturday, May 12, from 10:30 am-noon.

The campus is one of Springfield's most historic and architecturally significant areas.  It was cobbled together from a cluster of remarkable Victorian and early-20th-century mansions which were used as MacDuffie School facilities for more than half a century. Young House and the Wallace family mansion are extraordinary examples of Greek Revival and Spanish Colonial design. Other campus houses are fine examples of Arts & Crafts and Colonial Revival design.

John Foley, the founder of Commonwealth Academy, a new urban-based private school, was closing on the purchase of the campus when the disaster struck. He will host the first public tour and access of the campus since the tornado. The group will get a look at the restoration in progress and hear about the plans for Commonwealth Academy in a never-before-offered tour of a fascinating chapter in Springfield's educational and architectural history.

Bill Hosley has lectured at the Springfield Museums, given tours of Springfield Cemetery, and originated the Historic Springfield Facebook community – a public forum for issues, ideas, events and information about the qualities that make Springfield special.

The tour is part of the Second Saturday Walking Tour series, co-sponsored by the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association and the Springfield Museums. Walking tour tickets may be purchased in the museum Welcome Center at 21 Edwards Street on the day of the event. Tickets are free for members of the civic association or of the museums. Tickets for non-members are $5 per person. All proceeds will go toward improvements to the neighborhood.

For additional information, call the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association at 413.747.1830 or email aqca@kimballtowers.com.