A common question asked by visitors to IAR’s headquarters in Springfield is what is the big, abandoned ugly brick building across the street?
It’s a former YWCA that closed and has sat vacant for years. It’s taken a beating, even getting struck by a lightning bolt that blasted off part of a cornice two years ago. It stands out even more because it is north of the Executive mansion, which has beautiful landscaping, and just northwest of IAR’s sleek HQ.
While the building is no architectural gem, the land on which it sits has development potential. The city recently purchased the entire block, and is looking for a large scale project to place there.
The city of Springfield has formed the North Mansion Block Advisory Committee to develop a recommended framework for development. Springfield Mayor Michael Houston appointed IAR CEO Gary Clayton and REALTOR® Steve Myers to the panel.
It’s not clear whether the hulking YWCA building would be razed. Published reports indicate a mixed-use development might be a good fit for the property.