The Salisbury Mansion in Worcester was built in 1772 by merchant Stephen Salisbury to serve as both a residence and a store. The latter, where Salisbury sold imported goods, was closed down and converted to residential use in 1820. After Salisbury’s widow, Elizabeth Tuckerman Salisbury, died in 1851 the house was used as a rental property. In later years the house served as the Hancock Club, a gentleman’s social club. The mansion was originally located at Lincoln Square, which by the early twentieth century had become an industrialized area. In 1929 the mansion was willed to the American Antiquarian Society, which three years later transferred ownership to Worcester Art Museum. The house was moved to its current address at 40 Highland Street to make way for the Lincoln Square Boys Club. The Museum sold the mansion in 1950 to the Worcester Employment Society for use as a craft center. When that group later sought to tear down the building, concerned citizens formed the Salisbury Mansion Associates in 1955 and three years later purchased it. After sharing use of the mansion with the Worcester Girl Scouts Council for many years, the Associates restored the house, which in 1984 opened as Worcester’s first historic house museum. The following year the Associates merged with the Worcester Historical Museum, which now operates the historic site.
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 house at 10 Cedar Street in Worcester was built c. 1901 and was the home of Frank L. Dean (1865-1934). From 1879 to 1898 he had lived in the family home at 14 Cedar Street. In 1889 he married Mabel Houghton Dean and they had shared that house with his mother and sisters. Dean was a lawyer, clerk of the Superior Court and Republican politician who served as a city councilman from 1901 to 1902. Since 1966 the house has been home to Preservation Worcester.
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. Read More
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.
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.
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.