Friday, June 01, 2007

Stalking Lyman Street

Lyman Street runs parallel to the railroad tracks that bisect downtown Springfield, MA. On a sunny Thursday afternoon, I decided to venture along its route, walking from Main Street all the way up to its right-bend turn to Taylor Street. This street could very well serve as yet another example of the "good" being located right alongside the "bad" in this city, as its lower end - running along the Amtrak train station - is nearly immaculate and obviously well-kept, while its upper end - running past Chestnut Street - lays largely desolate and ruined.

*Click on any of the below photos for larger views.

Looking east, with Main Street just behind me (and the railroad berm to the left). Ahh, the memories... We tried to get a friend "serviced" here by a couple of prostitutes about twenty-two years ago. But he feigned being passed out, so we moved on.

The above view is looking west (toward Main Street), with the Dwight Street intersection behind me. Notice the well-kept, tree-lined boulevard with decorative lighting and wide, brick-framed sidewalk. The Amtrak entrance is seen to the right, center.

Unfortunately, the Chestnut Street intersection, above, marks the termination point of anything else attractive about this street. The trailers being stored on the lot to the left have been there for some time - or they have been replaced without the lot getting cleaned up. It's one of the first eyesores you encounter after crossing over Chestnut Street. (Surprisingly, folks have no problem parking their shiny new, expensive cars in the dumpy little overgrown parking lot to the left of the trailers.)

I should mention at this point that if you are contemplating visiting Lyman Street beyond Chestnut Street, it would be prudent to come prepared. I like to make sure I have the above gear with me: A good pair of sneakers and a working cellphone with 911 on speed dial.

A closer look at the trailer lot. Nice, huh?

There are two primary buildings that stand vacant on this stretch of Lyman Street. Both appear to be structurally sound on the exterior, with only minor damage, some trash, broken windows, and repeated visits from the graffiti monster marring their appearance. I don't know what the interiors of these buildings (shown left and below) look like, but they both appear to be reusable for any businesses interested. Unfortunately, at the start anyway, you'd be doing business in an otherwise derelict environment.

Above is a close shot of one of the entryways at the building shown above, left.

These sidewalks, above, are in dire need of attention and repair. Broken, overgrown sidewalks are a big problem on this section of Lyman Street. But if the city expects prospective businesses to consider this area, the least we could do is make the streets look presentable for them as they drive by on their tours. (The fence you see on the right, above, has a parking lot area behind it that is used by neighboring businesses.)

And lastly, if you click on the photo above, you'll get a split-shot panoramic of Lyman Street as it turns to intersect Taylor Street (left side of photo) and also looking back west (right side of photo).

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At 2:06 PM, Blogger Tommy said...

Excellent, but where's the video?

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Bill Dusty said...

I can't do everything everytime, Thomas }:-|


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