My involvement in

Holyoke's Rennaisance 

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.)
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A bit about my involvement in Holyoke’s Renaissance

  •  I was born in Holyoke and grew up there.

  •  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 $250 million of investment in both public and private-sector projects.

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Here's the brochures for my bike tours for the Wistariahurst Museum.
Click on each one.

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