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Holyoke, MA Town Information

Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States that lies between the western bank of the Connecticut River and the Mount Tom Range. As of 2012, the city had an estimated population of 40,135. Sitting eight miles north of Springfield, Holyoke is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in Massachusetts.

 

Holyoke was one of the first planned industrial communities in the United States. Holyoke features rectilinear street grids — a novelty in New England. This street hierarchy is seen as a potential economic development tool as it lends well to high-rise buildings, and the surrounding canals could be landscaped into a source of recreation and relaxation. Its grid pattern is notable in Western Massachusetts, where few roads are straight. The city's advantageous location on the Connecticut River — the largest river in New England — beside Hadley Falls, the river's steepest drop (60 feet), attracted the Boston Associates, who had successfully developed Lowell, Massachusetts' textile industry.[8] From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, Holyoke was the world's biggest paper manufacturer.[8] The elaborate Holyoke Canal System, built to power paper and textile mills, distinguishes it from other Connecticut River cities. Holyoke is nicknamed 'The Paper City' due to its fame as the world's greatest paper producer.

 

In recent years there have been successful efforts to attract high-tech jobs to Holyoke and diversify its economic base. For example, a coalition of universities and tech companies have built the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, an energy-efficient, high-performance computing center, in Holyoke. It opened in 2012. These companies and institutions include Cisco Systems, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT,) the University of Massachusetts, Boston University, Northeastern University, EMC Corporation, and Accenture PLC. The data center has been built in Holyoke in part due to hydropower accessibility.[16] The retail sector has been a major employer since the construction of the Holyoke Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in New England, in 1979. Retail has provided the city with a large and steady tax base, contributing over $7 million in taxes annually.[17]

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

Image: "Holyoke Heritage State Park, Holyoke MA" by John Phelan - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.