Category Archives: Worcester

Central Exchange Building (1896)

Central Exchange Building

The Central Exchange Building at 301-315 Main Street in Worcester stands on the site of the Old Central Exchange Building. This predecessor was built in 1830, burned down in 1843 and was rebuilt the following year. The current Central Exchange Building was constructed in 1895-1896. Designed by architect W.G. Preston, its first owner was Elizabeth Davis Bliss Dewey, wife of Francis H. Dewey II, a trustee of the Mechanics’ National Bank and the Worcester Mechanics’ Savings Bank, which would be early tenants of the building. In 1902, an additional section of the building, 301-303 Main Street, was added, designed by Fuller & Delano. (more…)

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Worcester Historical Society Building (1892)

Worcester Historical Society Building

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.

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Posted in Organizations, Romanesque Revival, Worcester | Tagged | Comments Off

Worcester County Courthouse (1845)

Worcester County Courthouse

Early county courthouses in Worcester were built in 1733, 1751 and 1802. A granite courthouse with six columns, designed in the Greek Revival style by Ammi B. Young, was built between 1843 and 1845. An addition to the southwest corner of the building, designed in a Greek Revival/Victorian style by Stephen C. Earle, was made in 1878. In 1898-1899 a major expansion and remodeling of the building took place. The original courthouse portico was removed and a new facade created on Main Street which incorporated the original six columns and two new ones made to match the originals. The new facade, designed by Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul, features two pavilions (the one on the south is the original courthouse), with two columns each, flanking a central section with four columns. The Courthouse, located at 2 Main Street off Lincoln Square, is currently vacant.

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Walker-White House (1879)

Walker-White House, Worcester

The relatively early Queen Anne house at 47 Harvard Street in Worcester was designed by Stephen C. Earle. Its first resident was Benjamin Walker, a local ice merchant. With Stillman Sweester, Walker formed the company Walker & Sweester, which later became the Walker Coal and Ice Company. From 1881 into the twentieth century, the house was home to Walker’s daughter, Agnes, and her husband, Levis White. The house’s two-story porch and painted brick walls are later alterations.

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Clark Block, Worcester (1854)

Clark Block

The Clark Block, located at 401-409 Main Street in Worcester (not to be confused with the Clark Building at 492 Main Street, which does not survive today), was built in 1854 for William Clark to plans by Elbridge Boyden. For many years it remained one of the grandest buildings in the city, housing many institutions and businesses. In the 1850s, the adjacent Richmond and Piper Blocks were constructed. J.H. Walker acquired the Clark Block in 1884 and built an addition on the Mechanics Street side of the building. The Clark Block originally had a facade of thirteen bays along Main Street, but six of these (as well as the adjoining Richmond and Piper Blocks) have been covered over. The first two floors of the remaining bays have also been covered, leaving only part of the original facade visible.

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Salisbury House (1837)

Salisbury House, Worcester

At 61 Harvard Street in Worcester is the impressive Salisbury House, an unusual example of the Greek Revival style, built in 1835-1838 for Stephen Salisbury II by master builder Elias Carter. Stephen Salisbury II was a wealthy financier, civic leader and philanthropist. His son, Stephen Salisbury III, continued to live in the house after his father’s death in 1884. He was also a philanthropist and a founder of the Worcester Art Museum in 1896. When Stephen Salisbury III died in 1905, he left the house to the Museum, which used it for the Art Museum School until 1939. Two years later it was sold to the Worcester American Red Cross which uses the building as its headquarters. When Harvard Street was widened in 1931, the house was moved a few feet northwest of its original site.

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Former Our Lady of Fatima Church, Worcester (1911)

43 Belmont Street, Worcester

The church at 43 Belmont Street in Worcester was built in 1908-1911. Designed by Fuller and Delano, it was the second building used by the First Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, a congregation that was established in 1881. The congregation merged with two other parishes to form the new Trinity Lutheran Church in 1948 and moved to a new church on Lancaster Street in 1951. The church Belmont Street was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Worcester and became Our Lady of Fatima Church. Over the years the building suffered damage from vibrations from the nearby Interstate 290. Major repairs were made in 1999 and the bell tower at the southeast corner of the church was also removed. The parish served area Catholics until 2009, when the church was closed. It was merged with St. Bernard’s Church to form Our Lady of Providence Parish. The vacant church was in danger of being demolished, but in 2012 the Diocese sold the building to the Chinese Gospel Church of Massachusetts, which had previously been worshiping in a former A.M.E. Zion Church at 21 Belmont Street. The Chinese Gospel Church of Massachusetts also has a church in Southborough, where it was founded in the 1980s.

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Posted in Churches, Gothic, Worcester | Tagged , | 1 Comment