MGM Springfield Taps Locale’s Literary History

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Located in a city rich with history and storytellers, MGM Springfield is for literary lovers. The brand tapped into the locale and its literary legacy to offer programming and design that is equally distinctive and thought provoking.

“With well-known writers such as Dr. Seuss, poet Emily Dickinson (from Amherst, MA) and being the home of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it was through these influences that the design team drew inspiration,” said Nicole Fournier, director of interior design, MGM Resorts International.

MGM Springfield’s urban design integrates the region’s first luxury gaming resort into the architectural fabric of the city’s downtown, combining new construction with revived historic architecture. With the historic State Armory as a focal point to the property and its relevance to many of Dr. Seuss’ (Theodor Geisel) books, the design aimed to bring whimsy and character throughout the property.

“Some of these include horn-like chandeliers that can be found within the casino and the hotel lobby that reflects a library from the past with local yearbooks and vintage dictionaries as decorative accents, and the elevator vestibule with overscale book spine influences,” said Fournier. “The hotel tower corridor carpet has quotes from Emily Dickinson integrated into a storyline bespoke to the rooms.”

History is what helps a property build a narrative. From there, a vision can be crafted. It plays a large part in the property’s offerings and overall aesthetics.

“The design and architectural teams flew out to Springfield, where they worked with local key leaders—local businessman Paul Picknelly; the Springfield Museum of Art; and Wayne Phaneuf, historian and executive editor of The Republican newspaper. The teams learned about the many ‘Springfield Firsts,’ which included design influences and that can be found throughout the property.”

Fournier breaks down the local influences that have become design elements:

The Home of Basketball. Guests will find a peach basket in the Tap Sports Bar restaurant to reflect that moment in history.

Getting Around Town. A casino carpet pattern reflects the local city streets and a vintage bus ticket takes inspiration from the Peter Pan bus lines.

Rev and Remember. Springfield is the home of Indian Motorcycle, which is illustrated via vintage motorcycle parts that can be found within the high-limit Knox Bar. There’s also a nod in the retail story.

Oh Snap. Vintage photos reflective of the early 1900s were used in the chandelier found at Commonwealth Bar & Lounge.

Repurpose & Renew. The design team upcycled the vintage church pews from the historical French Congregational Church—that was relocated on property—and these items can be found within the Ballroom Promenade.

Vintage Find. A circa 1888 historical photo of the Springfield Freemason’s Lodge sourced by the design team at the Brimfield Antiques Market also can be found within the Ballroom Promenade.

A Glass Act. Stained-glass windows were donated by Paul Picknelly that represent the history of Springfield.

Uncover Treasure. The United Electric Building’s original stained-glass dome was salvaged and reinstalled as a focal feature in the ballrooms, and its original fireplace can be found in the Lobby Bar.

“MGM Springfield represents a journey of discovery reflective of the city’s rich history,”Fournier said. “Through the urban planning, architectural details, and bespoke interiors, guests feel a sense of welcoming comfort upon arrival.”

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