Springfield’s Aristocracy Hill neighborhood, which takes in an area just south of downtown, is one of five areas of Springfield that have been exhaustively studied by Fever River Research of Springfield. The resulting reports are extraordinarily informative historical and archaeological analyses .
Fever River Research says it “specializes in cultural resource management projects that are associated with historic properties that date to the recent past. We conduct a variety of projects that include historical archaeology, architectural studies, National Register of Historic Places nominations, and traditional history.”
Fever River “somewhat arbitrarily” defines Aristocracy Hill as “bounded by Second Street on the west, Ninth Street on the east, South Grand Street on the south, and both Jackson and Edwards Streets on the north.” The report notes that the Old Aristocracy Hill Neighborhood Association sets the area’s northern boundary at Capitol Avenue; Fever River excluded that portion from its Aristocracy Hill study because it had surveyed that area previously.
The report focuses on the various styles of residential architecture demonstrated in the Aristocracy Hill area, but also includes disquisitions on such topics as notable local architects, the development of apartment living in Springfield, railroad development through the area and a variety of historical nuggets, such as the background of the Jack Robinson System chain of hamburger restaurants.
The Aristocracy Hill report formerly was available online; however, Fever River’s website was hacked in 2014, and this report is among several that, as of March 2015, had not yet been restored.)
Note: Despite the value of Fever River’s surveys, there are unfortunate typographical errors in some of them. Notably, in this report, Fever River reports that the Town House condominium building originally cost $57 million to construct. The Town House, which was largely completed in 1957, actually cost $2.5 million to build.
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