The Worcester Women’s Club was founded in 1880. Josephine Wright Chapman, one of the country’s first woman architects, designed the Women’s Club Building, which stands at 10 Tuckerman Street in Worcester. The builder was C. H. Cutting & Company of Worcester. Built in 1902, the building has three sides, with differing main facades facing Tuckerman and Salisbury Streets. In 1976, the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra took up residence in the building, acquiring ownership of it in 1981. The building became known as Tuckerman Hall (a name that originally referred only to the larger of the structure’s two public halls), named in honor of Elizabeth Tuckerman, the grandmother of Stephen Salisbury III who donated the land for the structure in 1898. Tuckerman Hall underwent restoration in 1999 and 2004-2005. Read More
The Mystic Lodge of Masons was established in 1810 in Lanesborough. The Lodge acquired land at 116 South Street in Pittsfield for a Masonic Temple in 1912. The building, designed by Joseph McArthur Vance of Pittsfield, had its cornerstone laid on October 10, 1912. The building was dedicated on May 2, 1914. Members of the Mystic Lodge formed the Crescent Lodge in 1873. A third Lodge, the Pittsfield Lodge, was constituted in 1921. These two merged in 1990 to form the Crescent-Pittsfield Lodge. This Lodge merged with the Pittsfield Lodge to form the New Moon Lodge on December 1, 2015. The Masons have owned and maintained the building for over a century, but in 2015 the Pittsfield Masonic Association put the building up for sale.
The building at 105-107 Elm Street in Westfield was erected in 1900 as the home of the YMCA. The Westfield YMCA was founded in 1888 (the dates 1888 and 1900 appear on the front of the building). Augustus W. Holton designed the building, which has a ground floor that has been used by many businesses over the years. A gymnasium was added to the building in 1903. The YMCA moved to a new building in 1950. Today the old YMCA is called the Rinnova Building. The first-floor commercial space was later home to Fine’s clothing store and more recently was leased by Westfield State University for a downtown art gallery. It is now home to Westfield on Weekends, which includes Westfield Creative Arts.
The building at 203 Union Street in Clinton was constructed in 1853 to house the Bigelow Mechanics Institute. This institution was founded in 1846. As described in History of the Origin of the Town of Clinton, Massachusetts, 1653-1865 (1896), by Andrew E. Ford:
April 14, 1846, a petition was made to a justice of peace by H. N. Bigelow, J. R. Stewart, L. F. Bancroft, J. B. Parker, Sanborn Worthen, A. S. Carleton and G. H. Kendall, representing that those gentlemen were “desirous of forming an association for the purpose of mutual improvement and for the further purpose of extending improvement to and throughout the village in which they reside, and the neighborhood with which they are more immediately connected, by sustaining courses of lectures upon the sciences and their connection with the mechanical arts, by sustaining, if their means shall allow it, a school for scientific instruction and education in those branches more immediately connected with their employment, and the collection of a library, a reading room and a repository of ‘models and drawings of useful machines and mechanical inventions.” In answer to this petition, a warrant was issued for a meeting for the purpose of organizing an association with these ends in view.
[. . .] The preamble of the constitution presented and adopted offers a broader basis of organization than was suggested in the petition, namely: “In order to promote our mutual improvement in literature, science and the mechanical arts; —to diffuse a taste for literary, scientific and mechanical pursuits in the community in which we reside;—and to develop the social, moral and intellectual natures with which we arc endowed by one Creator.”
The society took the name “The Bigelow Mechanics’ Institute in Clintonville.” E. B. Bigelow, in whose honor this name had been assumed, in addition to other donations, gave to the society as a recognition of his esteem, the valuable air pump, now used by the Clinton High School, and two hundred dollars to be used for the good of the Institute. A fee of five dollars was charged for membership, and some forty men joined.
At various times, from 1853 to 1873, the Institute also rented out space in the building to the postal service, to the Town of Clinton for its armory and to local businesses. Next door to the Institute, the building at 195 Union Street was built in 1859 to serve as Horatio N. Bigelow‘s private office. The brothers, Horatio N. and Erastus B. Bigelow developed Clinton as an industrial community.
In 1873, the Bigelow Mechanics Institute disbanded and its library was donated to the town to become the Bigelow Free Public Library. The Institute’s old building became a tenement. The adjacent building, H. N. Bigelow’s former office, served as the the Second District Court of Eastern Worcester County from 1886 to 1972, and its basement was the Clinton Police Station until 1969. Both buildings later served as law offices. In recent years the complex has undergone an extensive transformation to house the Museum of Russian Icons, founded in 2006 by art collector and industrialist Gordon B. Lankton. A contemporary, aluminum-clad addition to the museum was constructed in 2008.
The Worcester Society of Antiquity was first organized in 1875. The Society acquired a permanent home after Stephen Salisbury III donated land at 39 Salisbury Street and $25,000 towards the construction of a new building. Built in 1890-1891, it was designed by Barker and Nourse. It was formally opened on June 28, 1892. The organization’s name was changed to the Worcester Historical Society in 1919 and to the Worcester Historical Museum in 1978. The Museum moved to a new and larger location at 30 Elm Street in 1988. The Museum’s former home is now used as a commercial building.