| Trent Levakis
HOLYOKE – Doors Open Holyoke is returning to the city for its second year highlighting the places of historical, cultural and architectural significance in the city in an attempt to bridge communities and broaden perspectives.
In 2021, Holyoke hosted its first Doors Open event with 25 locations opened and over 300 visitors. Some of the event’s highlights were the Victory Theater, The Mass Green High-Performance Computing Center, The Masonic Temple, The Hotel Jess and tours of places like the Open Square Water Wheel and City Hall.
The Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED), in collaboration with Glammore Premier Events and the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce recently announced that Doors Open 2022 will take place on Oct. 15. Organizers indicated they expect to see similar sites from last year as they finish confirming details of this year’s event.
The first Doors Open event took place in France in 1984 and the concept has spread around the world since. Some American cities that have been participating in the annual event are Lowell, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, and Riverside, CA.
According to OPED Senior Project manager Ileana Carrion, Doors Open Holyoke was sought as an opportunity for visitors and residents to discover hidden architectural gems and see behind doors that are rarely open to the public for free.
OPED is in the process of reaching out to various local establishments, asking them to open their doors to the public for self-guided tours throughout the day, in addition to showcasing several downtown developments and public art installations.
Carrion said the event deeply relies on individuals and organizations that have a passion for Holyoke. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to OPED as soon as possible and arrange to have their location open. She added those interested should also be on the lookout for further details and instructions to be available on ExploreHolyoke.com and press releases.
OPED encourages the public to utilize the Explore Holyoke website as a gateway of information for this event and future events in Holyoke.
“Visitors and residents should frequently check ExploreHolyoke.com to access locations and register to visit specific sites,” Carrion said. “Everyone is encouraged to bring their passion for Holyoke on this day. We encourage everyone to participate and see the marvelous history Holyoke offers the Pioneer Valley.”
Carrion anticipates some growth in turnout for this year’s event and encourages the public to come out and explore some of the historical and culturally significant places in the city.
“The city of Holyoke has a fruitful and unique history and culture. This event will provide an opportunity for history to show itself and for individuals to connect with Holyoke’s history,” Carrion said. “History and culture make Holyoke the city it is, the buildings, the people, the partnerships and the community. We hope to bring all these aspects to Doors Open 2022 to show how impactful history is to those who have built lives and homes in Holyoke.”