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1929 Springfield Streetcar Map

29 Jun

The Greene County Public Library has a wide selection of historic maps of the city and county available, all preserved in good condition. One of those maps is a 1929 map of the city that was intended for visitors, with a map on one side and a city directory on the other. The map is a valuable resource for this streetcar project, as it clearly shows the extent of the Springfield Traction Company’s lines in 1929.

The present day site of the Expo Center is on the right of this image.

While the map shows that the section of St. Louis Street in front of the Expo Center never had a streetcar line historically, present day development patterns along this section from Jefferson to National, including the Expo Center, Hammonds Field, the Shrine Mosque, and historic Route 66 commercial locations, justifies the construction of a streetcar line, connecting back to the square. The square itself was a hive of activity in 1929, with streetcar lines radiating in all directions and direct connections north along Boonville Avenue to the Commercial Street district. The map reveals that the busiest area of the city was from Jefferson on the east to Campbell on the west, and St. Louis and College on the south, north to Commercial street. This historic core is still mostly intact, but lacks anything to tie it together like a streetcar line would. The existence of many important nodes, like City Hall, the historic Commercial Street district, and Drury University within this area will inform the development of a new streetcar plan for the city.

The historic 1929 map, on which the streetcar lines have been highlighted in red, can be found as a PDF download on the Maps page.