The Magnolia Terrace Lions

What happened to the Magnolia Terrace lions?

I have come across many different photographs and drawings of two bronze lions that once graced the pedestals in front of Magnolia Terrace in the Forest Park Heights historic district.

Magnolia LionMagnolia Lion

When you look at the top of Magnolia Terrace today, although the stone pedestals still exist (with flower planters on them), the lions are nowhere to be found. Where did they go? When did they leave?

I asked several longtime Forest Park residents about the lions -- people who have lived in the neighborhood for 50 years, but no one had ever seen them. The best suggestion I've heard is that they were perhaps melted down for scrap metal during the World War 2 effort, when bronze was at a premium.

Can anyone help?

Update: I spoke with Russell Selig and another long-time Forest Park resident. They say that the lions were on Magnolia Terrace at least into the 1950's. Speculation is that they could be in storage somewhere in the city. Anyone know?

Magnolia Lions

There is a photo of the Lions in 'Springfield Present and Prospective', page 20.

Magnolia Lions

I am puzzled, I can't understand how the Lions disapeared and no one in the neighborhood noticed or said anything about them. Am I missing something?? I remember the lions well after the war.. Mabe they ran away with the Forest Park Granite Dog..Not Funny...

Magnolia Terrace Lions

My family moved to Springfield and Magnolia Terrace roughly 20 years ago, and while legend certainly has it that the Lions were melted down during The War, as we met neighbors who had moved into the neighborhood in the '60s and early '70s, when the area was a tad run-down, they all said the Lions were still there -- and one day they just vanished. Yet, no one seems to have any idea what happened to them, or why they were removed, and if they are in storage, where they could possibly be. Very curious. Also, somewhere I have a little book called (I think) "Forest Park Heights" published in the '70s, containing many very detailed reprints of articles and photos which appeared in various publications as the neighborhood was created, and included a turn-of-the-century fold-out map in the beginning... Despite that the articles in this book go on at length about the Lions, it seems no one I've talked to knows that the Lions were replicas of a pair found in Paris, in the Tuileries. (Isn't that wonderful?)

I'd also LOVE to find out what happened to the elaborately landscaped terrace, and the magnolia trees which lined the street, which this book also describes...of course plants and trees die out if not taken care of, as I image they wouldn't have been as time marched on, but how do a whole bunch of very substantial fountains vanish? Or, for that matter, ALL of the magnolia trees? EVERY single one?

Anyone else have that book? Unfortunately, our flist copy (found in the house when we moved in) was stolen by a reporter who did a story on our house, but fortunately, after many years I was able to find another copy on alibris. I'll have to dig around for it.

And speaking of things vanishing, what about house plans, which supposedly were filed with the city at the time houses were constructed? We've been hunting high and low for ours, only to be given the run-around, being told everything from they're all in storage (but no one knows where), to that they were all thrown out, to that they were all destroyed by fire (dates of this supposed occrance date anytime from the turn of the century to the early '80s, depending who we've talked to.) Anyone have any info about that?

Magnolia terrace

I do have a copy of the forest park Heights book. the person who wrote it is Hilton Abbott and he now lives in Longmeadow and I am sure would be happy to talk to anyone about things.

I have always understood that the City Hall fire of 1905 destroyed all the building records.

Patrick Sullivan of the parks department is one of the best Municipal employees. If things were taken from parks and put in any ParkS Dept storage, he would know where they were.

When the Dartmouth Terrace was being restored, Fran Gagnon had been successful in getting two big urns that had been there back from the Parks Dept. She is a very good source of information too.

Alfred Chapin

About 4 years back I bought 151 forest park ave, ohhh it was on the edge of deplorable, I am almost finished with it and some rooms could be refinished again, I did a ceiling to wall mural with clouds and a metallic compass where the chandelier hangs and scenic views of forest park referencing from old post cards such as the barney estate and rustic pavilion. I love the history here in Springfield and the homes, I have acquired some historical photos books and items over the years.

I am interested in how I can go about getting more information on the original owner of our home, I believe it is Alfred Chapin an industrialist in the late 1800's, now here is some really strange things I have heard that I have no idea if they are fictional, Alfred married a dime a dance girl from NY and brought her up here and the home was used as a cat house for a short time, maybe that is why there are a couple porcelain sinks in some bedrooms, do other homes have bedrooms with only sinks in the corners?

If anyone could direct me or assist me in how do research the original owner I would be so grateful, or if you would like to see what we have done, send me an email at

Tom Tom

Alfred H Chapin

Alfred H. Chapin lived in my home also, and died here in 1962 at the age of 85. Much information can be found on him at the Quadrangle's Historical Museum (bring a #2 pencil!). There's a file on Chapin waiting for you with little effort. You will find that he was a well respected, influential leader in the community. He did remarry after his first wife passed away, but do not be fooled by his second wifes career just because she worked in the NYC shows. There's nothing to gossip about - they met because he produced plays in NYC as a hobby, and she was active in this field as a professional. Yes, my master bedroom has a sink, referred to as a barbers sink I believe.

Does anyone know anything

Does anyone know anything about 293 Longhill?
My husband and I just bought the house to restore it..I think the Young family built the house and the one next to it. Any info would be wonderful!!

293 Longhill

You undoubtedly know about the pot-growing operation there:
Prior to that owner, the house served for a number of years as the parsonage for South Congregational Church on Maple Street. I thought the Young family had a large house in Longmeadow?

293 Longhill

The parsonage house for South Congregational Church, (the Driftmeiers lived there in my younger years) wasn't 293, it was the house to the right of it. It was sold in the 70's or 80's, I believe, to cut down on expenditures. There was also another parsonage on Pineywoods.

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