Charles H. Bowker House
3 Harvard Place


Perched on the side of a steep hill overlooking Main Street, the turreted, red brick Charles H. Bowker House is an excellent and highly visible example of High Victorian Gothic architecture – an important landmark in the center of the city. Built as a single family residence and first occupied in 1874 by Charles Bowker, it is distinguished by black brick banding, a high-pitched slate roof, a corner turret, and lacy, cast-iron, rooftop cresting.


The building suffered significant fire damage in 2004 that left a gaping hole in the underpinning of the slate roof. Since that time, the building has been unoccupied, neglected and under unstable ownership. In 2008, two failed fuel storage tanks released 500 gallons of fuel oil. Despite the fact that in 2012 a developer submitted plans to the Worcester Historical Commission for the building’s restoration, no subsequent work has occurred on the property.


Included in Massachusetts’ cultural resource listing, it appeared on Preservation Worcester’s Most Endangered Structures list in 2005, 2011 and again in 2012. Also in 2012, it appeared on the Preservation Massachusetts Most Endangered Resources list. The Worcester Fire Department continues to post the property as "not to be salvaged.”


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