Tucked away in the North West corner of Springfield, Massachusetts is the small but scenic neighborhood of Atwater Park.
Atwater Park originated from the 300 acre estate of George Atwater. Atwater was an entrepreneur-philanthropist who created Springfield’s Streetcar Railway Company.
Because the owner of the Railway Company lived in Atwater Park, the neighborhood once had a rail car line running through it that led to Downtown Springfield. Old rail car tracks can still be seen peeking near the intersection of Crestwood St and Atwater Road.
The architects of Atwater Park designed the neighborhood to contain both “costly” and “modest” homes. This led to a neighborhood of middle and upper middle class residents that still exists today. The neighborhood is a suburban escape from the urban lifestyle of surrounding neighborhoods such as Memorial Square and Liberty Heights.
Atwater is one of the least densely populated neighborhoods in Springfield. This is due in part to its high population of single family homes and green space. The neighborhood has a population of around 700.
The Atwater neighborhood is a subject of its geography. The boundaries of the neighborhood are well defined and include wooded areas, parks, highways and a large hospital. This makes Atwater both quiet and tucked away which is why many employe’s and families at Baystate Medical Center choose Atwater.
Atwater is bordered by Chicopee to the North, Interstate-91 to the West, Van Horn Park to the Southeast and Baystate Medical Center to the Southwest. Liberty Heights and Memorial Square are the only Springfield neighborhoods connected to Atwater. Both neighborhoods are much more densely populated than Atwater, featuring primarily Multi-family housing and businesses.
Due to its proximity to parks in both directions, Atwater has many trees spread throughout the neighborhood. These trees make it both scenic and wooded. Most of the houses are Colonial revival and Tudor styled single family homes. The houses here are among the largest in the City.
Businesses in Atwater are virtually non-existent, as it is a true residential neighborhood. Businesses are located just outside of Atwater in Chicopee, Liberty Heights and Memorial Square. For those who want to venture down the road into Chicopee, Atwater positions you about a mile away from Elm’s College, Dana Park and Chicopee’s City Center.
Living in AP allows you to be within walking distance of one of the city’s largest employers and Springfield’s second largest park. Atwater Park is a popular choice for many Baystate Medical Center employees who are a very short distance from their workplace. Some parts of Atwater are just a few feet away from Baystate. Mercy Medical Center at less than 2 miles away is not too far either.
Van Horn Park recently underwent a $600,000 renovation in 2019. Some of the amenities at this park include bike/jogging trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, playgrounds and exercise stations.
Atwater Park is very distinct from other neighborhoods in Springfields. Many times it is not considered its own neighborhood. Because it is so small, it is combined with Liberty Heights even though the two neighborhoods are very different from each other.
For more information on Atwater Park, visit The Atwater Park Civic Association’s website about the neighborhood. This website includes history, events and important information about the neighborhood.
In 1902, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) considered the Atwater estate as a potential campus when looking to relocate from Boston. They ultimately decided to build a campus in Cambridge instead. Can you imagine if the MIT campus was in Springfield?
Thank you for checking out part 1 of 413NOW’s Springfield’s neighborhood guide. By the end of this series, each Springfield neighborhood and each Western Mass town will have both an article and a drive through video. Sign up for our Email list to be notified when 413NOW releases important content. We promise not to spam and abuse.