Become a Preservation Worcester Docent - Program starts September 9, 2015

Become a Preservation Worcester Docent and research historic buildings, present illustrated talks, lead tours and field trips

2015 Docent Training Course

begins Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Classes meet ten consecutive Wednesday evenings

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Learn about Worcester history and architecture through a series of illustrated lectures and neighborhood tours. Find out how to use architectural styles to “read” the streetscapes of the city’s historic neighborhoods. Follow Worcester’s fascinating development from 18th century farming community to prosperous industrial city and then to 21st century center of health sciences and biotechnology. Research a building or neighborhood that interests you and create an illustrated presentation or tour. Classes meet at PW headquarters, 10 Cedar Street, Worcester.

There is no charge for the course. However, participants must purchase all books required for the course (new or used, approximately $75.00 or less) and also become members of Preservation Worcester ($30.00 at our special docent rate). Docent trainees make a commitment to serve as a docent for at least two years.

Applications accepted on a first come-first served basis. Class size limited to 20. 

Click here to download an application. 

Click here to learn more about the role of a docent at Preservation Worcester.

For information or to register, call Susan Ceccacci, 508-754-8760

Preservation Worcester Presentations

Looking for a program for your club or neighborhood organization or for a classroom presentation?

Preservation Worcester offers a wide range of illustrated presentations that tell the unique story of Worcester's history, its people, and its architecture.  Our experienced docents will provide your group with a well-reserached and entertaining, hour-long program that offers a new way of looking at the city.  Choose from a selection of prepared presentations, or let us tailor a presentation to your needs.

Some available topics:

A Birds Eye View of Worcester's History and Architecture

Worcester and the Blackstone Canal

Lincoln Square: The Living Heart of the City

Una Passeggiata: Shrewsbury Street Then and Now

James and Orlando Norcross: Builders for an Age

Worcester Waists: The Story of the Worcester Corset Company

Why Historic Preservation is Green
An illustrated presentation by LEED-certified architectural designer, Navneet Anand, AAIA, LEED, AP
Historic buildings and historic wood windows are not the
energy hogs they are often made out to be.  Find out why
the "greenest" buildings are the ones that are already built.


Worcester Courthouse and Unitarian Church

Additional presentations available upon request

Fee:  $100 per presentation

For more information, call 508-754-8760 or write us at

Third Grade All America City Program

Sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, Inc. and Unum Group.

The All America City Program is Preservation Worcester's premier education program.  Designed to fit Massachusets third grade curriculum requirements for History and Social Science, the program uses the city's architecture as a key to unlock students' understanding of Worcester history.  Enriching everyday history and social science classes with site-based learning, the program includes an initial, illustrated classroom presentation followed by a field trip.  On the trip students experience Worcester's architecture and built environment "first hand" and compare a tall glass skyscraper and grand turn-of-the-20th century buildings with what they have learned about the city's growth over time.  Their visit to City Hall includes a role-playing session in the City Council Chamber, providing them with hands-on experience in the operation of city government.

   Students pose with City Clerk    

The field trip includes:

  • Viewing the city from atop the Telegram & Gazette offices on Front Street.

  • Finding the Bronze Star Monument in front of City Hall and hearing about Isaiah Thomas and the Massachusetts Spy

  • Touring City Hall, Worcester's "Palace for the People"

  • Visiting the City Council Chamber in City Hall and participating in a mock City Council meeting

  • Seeing the 18th century burial ground and monuments on Worcester Common

  • Touring Union Station's Great Hall and viewing the railroad tracks

Based on the themes of transportation, industrialization and immigration, the All America City program captures the children’s imagination and provides them with an understanding of the leading role Worcester has played in the history of the Commonwealth.  While focusing on local history and architecture, the program also teaches concepts and skills in geography, civics, government, and economics.   It encourages children to take ownership of the history of their city and to develop pride in their own roles in the community.  Knowledge gained through this experience is aimed at creating informed and involved future citizens of the city, the Commonwealth and the nation.

By gaining an appreciation of Worcester’s history and architecture, students develop a strong sense of pride in their city.  The program nurtures young citizens who experience the civic process, who understand Worcester’s role in history, who appreciate the city’s architecture and historic monuments, and who enthusiastically share that information with their families, neighbors, and friends.

For more information, call 508-754-8760 or write us at


Seeing Worcester Architecture Program
Sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, Inc.

  Worcester: Dowley Taylor Building

Tailored to the third, fourth, and fifth grades, the Seeing Worcester Architecture Program is an expanded version of the Third Grade All America City Program.  A collaborative effort between Preservation Worcester and school staff, this program gives students a solid grounding in Worcester history and architecture – building from year to year on the lessons learned the year before. 

Meeting the Massachusetts Curriculum Guidelines, the two-phase program includes an initial learning phase followed by a creative phase.  The initial phase consists of two preparatory classroom visits and a field trip presented by Preservation Worcester docents with emphasis on architectural styles and on the relationship of the built environment to the history of Worcester.   In the second phase, students carry out a creative project designed by school staff in collaboration with Preservation Worcester.  The creative component culminates in art exhibits and dramatic vignettes presented to the entire school, students’ families, and friends – enhancing study units at each grade level and highlighting what students have learned in the initial phase of the program. 

For more information, call 508-754-8760 or write us at

Completing drawing of Worcester architecture

      Living Museum at Worcester Arts Magnet School

  Dowley Taylor Mansion column styles          Dream house floor plans drawn by students

Dioramas of building made by students