From Preservation Worcester …

What are your fave Woo haunts? pic: R.T.

Favorite Places Photography Exhibit Opens on Main Street

Preservation Worcester presents Favorite Places, an exhibit of photographs on view from November 21, 2017, through mid-January 2018 in the display window of the United States Post Office, in the Denholms Building, 484 Main St. An opening reception will be held in the lobby of the Denholms Building on Tuesday, November 21, 5 pm – 6:30 pm.

Favorite Places images are the work of Worcester photographer, Randle Stock, who was chosen for this project by a Preservation Worcester juried competition.

The show features a set of photographs of twenty Worcester citizens, who are active in the community, each interacting with his or her favorite Worcester historical building.

Documenting buildings found in a variety of local neighborhoods, these images record the pleasing variety of architectural styles, building materials, and design that characterize Worcester’s built environment.

Accompanying written statements express the range of meaning that the selected buildings hold for the diverse array of citizens who chose them.

Participating in the project are individuals, who, through their personal dedication and activism,have made important contributions to the city and to their city neighborhoods – Green Island, Quinsigamond Village, Main South, Crown Hill and others. Both young and old, they are from a variety of backgrounds, just as their favorite buildings represent a wide range of types and styles. Their chosen buildings, whose ages span more than a century, from 1812 to the 1930s, include City Hall, a diner, a historic tavern, and private houses, a brick three-decker, churches, a former synagogue, Union Station, a factory, schools, a monument, a museum, and Bancroft Tower.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


A sampling. To see photos of the 20 folks and their favorite Worcester places, along with their statements, get thee to the Denholm Building!     – R.T.

Gloria D. Hall and Union Station

Washington Square, 1911

Gloria Hall is Project Manager, Art in the Park

Besides my really liking its architectural splendor, the station reminds me of a train trip that marked my coming of age. It’s the summer of 1969. I am traveling from Savannah to Philadelphia. Newspaper boys are harking news of the Kentucky Derby (Majestic Prince and his jockey, Johnny Lungden, win). Tables in the train’s dining car are set with white tablecloths, cloth napkins and individual five-piece plate settings with silver. African American waiters are bustling about serving the best tasting fried chicken and iced tea while the train is taking me to pepper steak hoagies, delis with pickles in barrels, my first visit to a movie theater, and row houses. In my mind, Union Station is that trip – expanding my cultural exposure and reinforcing who I am.

Lorraine M. Laurie, friend Patty Shugrue LaCross and St. John’s Roman Catholic Church

40 Temple Street, Greek Revival Style

1845, Richard Bond, architect, Boston; 1884 addition, P.W. Ford, Boston

Lorraine Laurie is a neighborhood activist, fondly known as “the Mayor of Green Island”

St. John’s has been my church since July of 2008 when Ascension Church closed. Worcester’s oldest surviving church building, it is the oldest Roman Catholic church west of Boston and the “Mother Church” of both the Springfield and Worcester dioceses. This parish reflects Worcester’s Irish heritage – a reminder of the construction of the Blackstone Canal, which brought here the Irish workmen who led to its founding. St. John’s is not only a building, but the center of the parish community.

Ike McBride and the Worcester Boys Club

Lincoln Square, 1929, Neo-Georgian Style

Frost, Chamberlain & Edwards, architects, Worcester

Ike McBride is Director of Operations, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester

As a Club Kid, I grew up in this building. The Lincoln Square Boys Club meant a great deal to me. It was a place that allowed me to grow safely in a positive environment and has put me on the path to where I am today.

AiVi Nguyen and the Boulevard Diner

155 Shrewsbury Street, 1936, traditional barrel roofed diner

Worcester Lunch Car Company, manufacturer, Worcester, Diner # 730

AiVi Nguyen is a partner at the law firm of Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester, and serves on the City of Worcester’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

The Boulevard Diner is iconic Worcester. Everyone recognizes it because it is a great equalizer for the people of Worcester. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, whether you are rich or poor — odds are you have been to the Boulevard. I worked there for two summers when I was in high school and college — overnight shift. I saw all walks of life come into that place — wealthy business people grabbing a meatball sandwich after a night out, young couples on dates, widowers who ate dinner there every night, police officers on break. Everyone was treated the same and everyone had the same expectations. The Boulevard Diner is one of those places you hope will stay the same forever.