In addition to the Most Endangered Structures, Preservation Worcester also selects a number of structures that are well-maintained or have recently been restored for a Commendation List. This year’s Commendation List includes:
3 Harvard Place
The Charles H. Bowker House, located at 3 Harvard Place, sits in a wooded grove just steps from Worcester’s resurgent North Main Street corridor. Built in 1874 as the showplace home of local industrialist Charles Bowker, the High Victorian Gothic structure features a red brick exterior with black masonry banding and decoration. A prominent corner turret, cast iron cresting, and steeply pitched rooflines give the building an imposing presence as it rises from the steep incline of the property. While the building has suffered interior fire damage and lost its original windows and slate roof, it retains much of its original character. A.S. Roe admiringly described the Charles H. Bowker House at its finest in his Twenty Years of Harvard Street (1894): “Covered with ivy, the west side commands Harvard Place, while the east side overlooks Worcester. There are steep stairs leading down to Main street, and there is the city, with all its din, bustle and beauty. To my mind, there is no more attractive residence in the city.”
The Charles F. Bowker House has appeared on Preservation Worcester’s Most Endangered Structures List in 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2106.
Source: Telegram and Gazette February 3, 2019 Derailed bid to restore historic Worcester Market is a tale of ‘what might have been’
Source: Telegram and Gazette
Opened in 1828 and in operation for only twenty years, the now-buried Blackstone Canal had a remarkable influence on Worcester’s future. Learn about this transportation waterway – the catalyst which, over the course of the 19th century, transformed what was then a small, land-locked, county seat into a flourishing industrial city.
By the Canal – A Walking Tour by JoAnn Mills
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
October 31, 2018
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Preservation Worcester’s Executive Director Deborah Packard is interviewed by Chronicle; Packard reinforces PW’s hope that the theater gets a chance at revitalization. Click here to view the interview.
17-27 Pleasant Street
Opened in 1891 as Lothrop’s Opera House, the imposing brick edifice located at 17-27 Pleasant St. in the heart of Worcester’s downtown, is the oldest remaining theater in the city. The theater, designed by architects Cutting and Forbush, once hosted some of the city’s most prominent acts. The venue was renamed the Olympia Theater, Lynch’s Pleasant Theater, later the Fine Arts Theater, and finally the New Art Cinema, playing host to countless performances and screenings spanning three centuries of our City’s history. The four-story structure currently houses retail on its ground floor, with the once bustling theater concealed behind boarded windows on the upper floors. Little has changed about the building’s exterior since the 19th century, apart from superficial modifications at the first floor. A pair of recessed wall panels dominates the center of the Pleasant St. face of the building, topped by matching, elegant semi-elliptical lights. The lack of ornamentation on the building’s red/brown masonry façade does little to communicate the fading charm of the theater’s interior. While suffering from neglect, much of the building’s original plaster work remains visible, including the geometric design of the 125-year-old ceiling. The building is included in a district of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Shuttered in January, 2006, the theater remains vacant, while retail activity has continued in its’ modified storefronts. Targeted within the Worcester Redevelopment Authority’s Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan as a potential “Building to be Demolished,” Worcester’s oldest remaining theater is in imminent danger. This is Lothrop’s Opera House/ Olympia Theater’s third appearance on Preservation Worcester’s Most Endangered Structures List.