Preservation Worcester Deborah Packard Most Endangered Structures


Preservation Worcester on Monday released its list of the most threatened structures for 2020 and 2021, with entries ranging from discounts to a large estate.

But the COVID-induced two-year combination didn’t translate into an extra-long list.

“It’s actually shorter this year because a few properties that we have selected, positive things have happened, which is good,” said Deborah Packard, executive director of Preservation Worcester on Monday. She cited plans for the Becker College properties as well as the recent purchase of the Olympia Theater and the planned conversion of The Bridge into apartments. “A few properties that we intended to put on the list we didn’t have to. “

The list is compiled by a special Preservation Worcester committee that monitors city properties, solicits nominations from the community, reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Preservation Worcester Board of Directors for approval.

To appear on the list, the structures must be:

  • Pre-1971 structures located in Worcester and important for their historical, architectural and / or cultural contributions to the cityscape.
  • Structures threatened by neglect, demolition, alteration, deterioration and / or type of use.
  • Any structure, including residential, commercial, industrial or institutional buildings, bridges, monuments, parks, cemeteries – even entire neighborhoods, city blocks, or a particular type of building or building component.

Without further ado, here are the entries for the most threatened structures of 2020-2021:

Bramble Hill, 757 Salisbury Street

The former Higgins family estate on Salisbury Street was previously on the list in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2019, and its future is currently in dispute, as a developer, but has not been granted the approval from the city, to demolish the neo-colonial mansion of around 1901 and construct three buildings with 123 apartments.

Packard said the property was architecturally and historically significant, noting the estate was the long-time home of Milton P. Higgins, president of the Norton Company, and Alice C. Higgins, a philanthropist. who was the first woman to join Clark University. Board of Trustees in 1962 and became the first woman to chair the board of trustees of a U.S. research university, becoming chairman of Clark’s board in 1967.

5, rue Linden, carriage delivery

Just down the street from the headquarters of Preservation Worcester, the shed at 5 Linden St. was built in 1863 as part of a housing estate by AC Buttrick, and is a notable example of Second Empire architecture with a unique tiled roof, Packard said.

The private property, nominated by a local resident, however, is “really in a terrible state,” Packard said, and is an example of a category of structures that get lost “over time.”

“Some city regulations prohibit the rental of (transport houses) as an income-generating property, and I think if that were changed people would be more inclined to restore and use them,” Packard said. “A lot of them are really interesting structures that coordinate with the property they’re associated with. “

Thomas Anderson House, 206 May Street.

Built in 1892 as part of a subdivision commissioned by George A. Thayer, the shingle-style single-family home has been vacant for years and is deteriorating from lack of maintenance, Packard said.

“The windows are boarded up, and it’s really shabby,” Packard said. “We have been monitoring the building for several years and have decided this year to put it on our list. “

Former Hammond Reed Headquarters, 5 May St.

A four-story apartment building built around 1895 of brick and stone in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the building was sold to Arthur Stone, who made mechanical pianos, Packard said. A man by the name of Theodore Brown moved into the property and the company’s catalogs referred to the property as its head office.

The property was at the center of a federal investigation where a city employer was convicted of conspiring with a developer to steal federal funds intended for an affordable housing project a decade ago. There are currently plans for a local private company to renovate the building, but Packard said: “It is an eyesore and a concern.”

William Warden House, 7 Circuit Avenue East

A “beautiful, beautiful” Queen Anne-style house circa 1895 in a residential area, the house features a corner tower and turret, covered porch, pavilion, intricate shingles and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Packard said. But it is currently seized and Packard said the house had been reported as unsecured, smelly and water damaged.

The local neighborhood group and Preservation Worcester worked with city and state officials to get in touch with the bank about the future of the building, but “this is really a very, very nice property in a nice residential area that is falling apart at this point, ”Packard said.

Unoccupied buildings of Crown Hill

Crown Hill is one of the city’s three local historic neighborhoods, but nine vacant residential properties in the neighborhood “threaten the safety of the neighborhood and degrade property values,” Packard said.

Working with the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association and neighborhood resident and state representative Mary Keefe, Preservation Worcester is focusing on these properties, one of which is slated for demolition and others that have been unoccupied for more than a decade, Packard said.

He has a long focus on the preservation of Worcester: his predecessor, the Worcester Heritage Society, bought, renovated and then sold (with restrictions) several properties in the area in the 1970s.

“It’s an area we would like to focus on because it’s so unique,” ​​Packard said.

Thomas Barrett House, 41 Wellington Street.

This Queen Anne-style home is distinguished by features that Packard says are not typical of the architectural style, such as a single front gable and patterned masonry. It was built by a local mason named Thomas Barret in 1885 and features barricaded windows, Packard reported. This is the first time he has appeared on the list.

Edmund E. Morse House and Shed, 72 Charlotte St.

Also a new entry on the list, this home was originally part of a 9 acre property purchased in 1868 and built in 1873 by Edmund Morse, a carpenter and builder. The Greek Revival has been converted to a three-family home with a workshop in the shed and “is in terrible shape,” Packard said.

In addition to the Most Endangered Structures list, Preservation Worcester also offers properties for commendation. These properties are:

  • Draper Ruggles House, 21 Catharine Street
  • Abraham Fitts Cottage, 32 Castle Street.
  • Mellville Shoe Co. Warehouse and Office Building, 38-44 Hammond Street
  • Walter E. Dodge House, 23 Freeland Street
  • 8 Windsor Street

“We are celebrating their successes,” Packard said.

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