My involvement in
Craig Della Penna is a native of Holyoke, and a local real estate broker. He is the author of five books and numerous op-ed pieces/guest editorials on the value of rail trails and greenways in the context of residential real estate and smart growth development.
With over 1,200 lectures in twenty-one states, he is one of the country’s most in-demand speakers on these subjects. One of his books was Images of America: Holyoke now in its sixth printing and one of the most successful of the series.
He also was directly involved in the start-up of two local advocacy groups important to Holyokeʹs renaissance; Save Historic Holyoke and Friends of the Holyoke Canal Walk. (This intro is from the brochure for bike tours I lead for Wistariashurst.)
A bit about my involvement in Holyoke’s Renaissance
I was born and grew up in Holyoke * Wrote a book about Holyoke— focusing on the missing buildings.
Was invited to come-in and help found a group called Save Historic Holyoke.
We focused on getting the city to stop the muni-sanctioned demolitions. It took us four years, but we largely succeeded.
We were buying deficient, but important buildings and then selling them to developers who promised to not demo them, but instead would improve them.
After the demo of the Bulls Head Building on Main St which resulted in the death of a demolition worker, I was approached by a group of building owners along the future Canal Walk to teach them how to get the city to move forward that project.
The Canal Walk then started to get built and it has led to over $200 million of investment in both public and private-sector projects.