Theater owner seeks $36M renovation in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD (AP) - The owner of a downtown Springfield theater block has proposed a $36 million historic renovation project to lure big stage shows and promote downtown revitalization and jobs.
The Republican of Springfield reports that the New England Farm Workers Council bought the Paramount building in March 2011 for $1.7 million. Heriberto Flores, executive director of the Farm Workers Council, says it plans to restore the theater, including 2,300 seats and an expanded stage.
The block is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the theater portion that was built in 1929, most of the building comprises the 1843 Massasoit House.
It was an important hotel in Springfield in the 19th century and a stop for slaves seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad.