Metro Center, MA

Springfield MA
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Metro Center is the original colonial settlement of Springfield, Massachusetts, located beside a gentle bend in the Connecticut River. As of 2011, Metro Center features a majority of Western Massachusetts' most important cultural, business, and civic venues. Metro Center includes Western Massachusetts' Central Business District, its Club Quarter, its government center, its convention headquarters, and in recent years, it has become an increasingly popular residential district, especially among young professionals, empty-nesters, the LGBT community, artists, and creative bohemian types.
As of 2011, Metro Center includes approximately 690 acres of land where the city was initially established, aligned north-south, following the Connecticut River, and is bounded by Route 291 to the north, Union and Howard Streets to the south, Federal Street to the east and the Connecticut River to the west.
Metro Center, founded in 1636 by William Pynchon and a group of pioneers, was originally called Agawam Plantation. At the time of its founding, Agawam Plantation was the northernmost settlement on the Connecticut River, and belonged to the Connecticut Colony as opposed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, wo which it would later belong. Within less than a decade after its founding in 1636, differences arose between the leaders of Agawam (Springfield) and Newtown (Hartford) over how to treat the region's Native population. Springfield hoped to pursue peaceful relations with the Natives so as to facilitate trade and communal farming, whereas Hartford - and many of Connecticut's early settlers - had fought the bloody Pequot War to claim their territory, and thus took a more skeptical view of the Native population. This difference of opinion led to Agawam (Springfield) annexing itself to Massachusetts in 1640. At that time, William Pynchon was named magistrate of the settlement, and the town's name was changed to Springfield in Pynchon's honor. (Pynchon was from Springfield, Essex.)