The Holbrook-Sawyer Building

521 Main Street

The Holbrook-Sawyer Building was built 1855 and is located in the heart of downtown Worcester. Although the façade is currently covered in mid-20th-century sheathing, it is likely that beneath the sheathing a classic example of Italianate style architecture featuring arcaded window caps supported by paired columns will be found.  If this is the case, this building would not only be one of the few downtown structures surviving from the mid-19th century, but also the only one of its architectural type in the city – an outstanding contribution to the streetscape.

In June 2017, Worcester officials declared the building unsafe when it was discovered that bricks were falling off the rear façade.  As a result, the Great Wall Restaurant located there was closed.  Most of the rear of the building was demolished and repaired.  Currently the structure is unoccupied.  A positive sign is that The Great Wall Restaurant is scheduled to reopen in late August 2019 although the remaining four stories remain unoccupied.  The structure is listed in the Worcester Redevelopment Authority’s Downtown Revitalization Plan as a building needing rehabilitation. 

The Holbrook- Sawyer Building was on our 2017 Most Endangered Structures List.