MGM Springfield Keeps Community History in Casino Consideration



the First Spiritualist Church

MGM Springfield has completed preparations to relocate the First Spiritualist Church in order to clear the land for the resort casino’s construction site. The French Congregational Church, known since 1919 as the First Spiritualist Church, is a historic High Victorian Gothic church located at 33-37 Bliss Street in Springfield, Massachusetts. The church was be moved approximately 600 feet to its new permanent home.

For a great video showing preparations of the move, click here.

For an even greater video showing actual the move, click here.

Michael Mathis MGM Springfirld“Relocating this historic church, which now sits on what will become the casino gaming floor, is a major milestone for MGM Springfield,” said Michael Mathis, President and COO, MGM Springfield. “This entire project is transforming the landscape of downtown Springfield. We are proud to be able both to preserve iconic structures and build a world-class, new facility for the community to enjoy.”

This much anticipated move follows the project’s recent site plan approval by the Springfield City Council, demolition of the former Zanetti School and other construction activities. Over the past few weeks, workers have mobilized equipment to the site in preparation for the relocation, which includes bracing the interior of the building, installing dolly wheels and raising the church up on blocks.

The Hon. Domenic J. Sarno, Mayor of the City of Springfield, commented, “I am pleased that MGM Springfield and the City of Springfield are able to work together to move this mega economic development project forward, but also to preserve this historic building by saving and moving the First Spiritualist Church. Pardon the pun – if you look in Merriam-Webster, this gives a new definition to ‘Holy Rollers’.”

Wolfe House and Building Movers has been contracted to move the historically registered building. Wolfe will use extremely innovative and modern moving equipment to protect the framework of the 129-year-old structure.  To lift the church, they will use a specialized Unified Hydraulic Jacking system that allows the structure to be raised steadily and simultaneously, without disruption to the drywall. The building will then be placed on Buckingham Power and Coaster Dollies, an instrument Wolfe designed and built in-house. These remote controlled hydraulic coasters speak to each other in real time through an advanced technology, allowing each movement to be carefully aligned. Wolfe recently moved a 145-year-old home in the McKnight neighborhood of Springfield.

Special thanks to Alicia Malone, MGM Springfield R&R Resources Plus, for the original posting.



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