Middletown, Connecticut is an awesome little city. Great Main Street. Best children’s museum I’ve ever seen. Nice housing stock close to everything. Not too expensive. Or pretentious.
Here is Middletown’s “Thorne’s Market” (That’s a quaint and cozy, disgustingly succesful retail mall created out of some older buildings in…ugggg….Northampton):
Springfield’s “Market Place” never filled up with retail despite having one of the best anchors in the region in Johnson’s Bookstore. It’s mostly used for office space now. Here it is, 30 years after its creation:
Lighter, with a greater variety of spaces, higher ceilings, more impressive buildings, and a great “Project for Public Spaces” inspired multivalent interface with 4 access points.
It wasn’t the design. Everything here was done right, right down to the small-ish spaces for start-up retailers. There are cafes at either end of the main concourse, public art, a nice bright atrium to drive away the winter blahs, and tree lined promenades for warmer weather.
Some new retail ventures have recently opened there again. It really could work this time because it was always a good idea and it was so well executed that it looks as though it might have been designed last year. It sits between the new Union Station and MGM. Just another of Springfield’s many hidden gems.