By Jay Minkarah, president and CEO of DevelopSpringfield
As I was admiring a large notched beam in the attic of an historic building we plan to rehabilitate in downtown Springfield, I was struck by the thought that the beam was likely taken from an earlier 18th century structure and adapted to support a mid-19th century building that will soon be repurposed to support a new 21st century use.
Next door, in the recently restored Merrick-Phelps House (circa 1841), images of patents on the conference-room wall are a testament to the inventiveness of the former home's first owner, Solomon Merrick.
Whether it's the invention of something wholly new, or the adaptation of something existing for a new purpose, innovation has always been a central part of Springfield's DNA, a trait shared by communities up and down the Pioneer Valley.
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