Worcester Improvements

WormtownNative

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Happy to see these fill up, but the fact that the building has zero street activation on the Foster and Franklin intersection is a huge miss, imo. It just kills any chance of making that intersection more vibrant, and still makes it feel like Canal District and downtown are two separate neighborhoods, when ideally they should be a conjoined pedestrian experience.
The other side of Franklin Street isn't helping matters with the backside of the YWCA and the library as well and barely existent "sidewalks" on McGrath Blvd. The underpasses on Green and Madison under CSX & the P&W also make a distinctive barrier between the areas due to a lack of lighting and overall conditions.
 

BeeLine

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cubalibre

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I guess this still fits here as well, I posted in the T construction thread:

Union Station is getting a second platform and pedestrian bridge accessing both platforms from the two surface lots. It will finally allow two trains at the terminus at the same time and should help with improving the reliability and schedule.

https://www.mbta.com/projects/worcester-union-station-improvements






source: MBTA

Cost is between $40M - $48M, ETC is August 2022.
 

cubalibre

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Less than 12 months after the demolition of Notre Dame, it's now Mount Carmel's turn to be torn down. The church plot together with the community center and an adjacent baseball field are for sale.

The archdiocese of Worcester and the Vatican have not expressed interest in saving the church after its congregation merged with another location in town and the building has been desecrated.

I find the bell tower and the romanesque front of the church particularly beautiful, despite its odd location right next to I-290. It will be yet another landmark missing in the city's skyline.

Originally demolition was supposed to start last Easter, so I took some photos then. I'll post some updates as the destruction progresses.









 

meddlepal

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Meh, nothing of value is being lost. The inside of Mount Carmel was pretty deteriorated in the 90's and everything worth saving was taken out already. The building is interesting but not that interesting.

The state killed Mount Carmel years ago putting I-290 through the heart of Worcester.
 

meddlepal

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Why does Union Station need a second T platform? This project doesn't make sense to me since there's only a double tracking between Boston and Worcester and Worcester is a terminal station for Boston. Are they thinking in terms of local and express in the future?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Why does Union Station need a second T platform? This project doesn't make sense to me since there's only a double tracking between Boston and Worcester and Worcester is a terminal station for Boston. Are they thinking in terms of local and express in the future?
Congestion fix. Worcester's got the most extreme interlocking complexity of any terminal station given all the junctions and freight leads surrounding it. Backup moves on/off the platform and in/out of the layover yard take an unusually high amount of dispatching coordination, and that's been a source of delays for years as consecutive trains haven't been able to maintain close spacing.

Second-platform occupancy solves the delay/spacing issue immediately, which is why it was worth it to get a jump on the second they could amass the $$$. And then it'll be needed regardless for future service increases in either direction that backfill the traffic density, including initiating any Amtrak Inland service.
 

cubalibre

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Meh, nothing of value is being lost. The inside of Mount Carmel was pretty deteriorated in the 90's and everything worth saving was taken out already. The building is interesting but not that interesting.

The state killed Mount Carmel years ago putting I-290 through the heart of Worcester.
Never been inside, but it would have been nice to save the facade and the bell tower. For a moment it can make you feel like standing in front of St. Augustine in Rome, despite being mere feet from an elevated six lane interstate.

I’m not sorry for the sixties-style community center and rectory being replaced by some new development, but whatever replaces the church will certainly be bland, investor pleasing cardboard. Fingers crossed it will at least contain some ground level retail/ gastronomy.
 

FK4

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Never been inside, but it would have been nice to save the facade and the bell tower. For a moment it can make you feel like standing in front of St. Augustine in Rome, despite being mere feet from an elevated six lane interstate.

I’m not sorry for the sixties-style community center and rectory being replaced by some new development, but whatever replaces the church will certainly be bland, investor pleasing cardboard. Fingers crossed it will at least contain some ground level retail/ gastronomy.
For a building like this, they must save the stone detailing for something, right? The columns and the details above the door would be really nice architectural relics to acquire and do something cool with.
 

itchy

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"Worcester: We have no sense of history, place, or self!"

"Worcester: Got History? Sure, we'll demolish that!"

"Worcester: We won't lift a finger to save our history, but we'll turn tricks for a zero-sum 'economic development' boondoggle. We'll even subsidize a MINOR LEAGUE stadium!"

With 2 prominent historical buildings reduced to nothingness by the city in less than a year (and who knows how many to come), I can only think that Luanda, Angola, has more pride in itself than does Massachusetts' black sheep of a No. 2 city. Go eff yourself, Wormtown.
 

WormtownNative

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"Worcester: We have no sense of history, place, or self!"

"Worcester: Got History? Sure, we'll demolish that!"

"Worcester: We won't lift a finger to save our history, but we'll turn tricks for a zero-sum 'economic development' boondoggle. We'll even subsidize a MINOR LEAGUE stadium!"

With 2 prominent historical buildings reduced to nothingness by the city in less than a year (and who knows how many to come), I can only think that Luanda, Angola, has more pride in itself than does Massachusetts' black sheep of a No. 2 city. Go eff yourself, Wormtown.
What did I do to you to deserve that?

It's a city that thinks it's a town and is currently having a major political divide over the siting of a new Doherty and a new recycling program.

The city made it clear that is doesn't care about the church nor does the diocese or the majority of residents. If the building wasn't neglected, it might actually HAVE had a chance of being saved. But like most parishes these days, the buildings are being neglected with a lack of maintenance.

As far as TIF's and subsidies go, ever since CitySquare was planned, Worcester has not been able to get any sort of development project outside of single family homes or small residential projects done without any sort of tax relief. This is a more systemic problem of businesses fleeing the city due to taxes. The dueling tax rates however, are another discussion for another day.

Is losing Mt. Carmel a major blow to Worcester's Italian community? It is, but even some of them are tired of this preservationist fight.

Above all else, there needs to be an understanding that we can't save everything. Some things can and should be saved, but some are beyond help. And why should anyone have chipped in to save the church when they didn't do anything to help save it themselves with maintenance?

Worcester will not live or die by the demolition of two churches. Cities evolve.
 

cubalibre

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And why should anyone have chipped in to save the church when they didn't do anything to help save it themselves with maintenance?
This is it in essence. Preservationists petitioned all the way up to the Vatican, which does have some loose change in its pocket, being the worlds largest nongovernmental land owner and not paying taxes on any of it. The Catholic Church has no interest in preserving desecrated structures just for the architecture’s sake from a business perspective.
This sort of thing happening all over the western world. There are some cities or citizens wealthy enough to step in to save their churches or a developer motivated enough to spend the extra money to repurpose such a high-maintenance structure. Worcester and its aging Italian community cannot afford that.
 

BarbaricManchurian

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"Worcester: We have no sense of history, place, or self!"

"Worcester: Got History? Sure, we'll demolish that!"

"Worcester: We won't lift a finger to save our history, but we'll turn tricks for a zero-sum 'economic development' boondoggle. We'll even subsidize a MINOR LEAGUE stadium!"

With 2 prominent historical buildings reduced to nothingness by the city in less than a year (and who knows how many to come), I can only think that Luanda, Angola, has more pride in itself than does Massachusetts' black sheep of a No. 2 city. Go eff yourself, Wormtown.
Are you crying?
 

BarbaricManchurian

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Worcester is a cluster of working class historic housing, no more and no less. Just like the Rust Belt in the Midwest, historic preservation isn't the highest priority, when essentially every building is both historic and deteriorating.
 

SlothofDespond

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What did I do to you to deserve that?

It's a city that thinks it's a town and is currently having a major political divide over the siting of a new Doherty and a new recycling program.

The city made it clear that is doesn't care about the church nor does the diocese or the majority of residents. If the building wasn't neglected, it might actually HAVE had a chance of being saved. But like most parishes these days, the buildings are being neglected with a lack of maintenance.

As far as TIF's and subsidies go, ever since CitySquare was planned, Worcester has not been able to get any sort of development project outside of single family homes or small residential projects done without any sort of tax relief. This is a more systemic problem of businesses fleeing the city due to taxes. The dueling tax rates however, are another discussion for another day.

Is losing Mt. Carmel a major blow to Worcester's Italian community? It is, but even some of them are tired of this preservationist fight.

Above all else, there needs to be an understanding that we can't save everything. Some things can and should be saved, but some are beyond help. And why should anyone have chipped in to save the church when they didn't do anything to help save it themselves with maintenance?

Worcester will not live or die by the demolition of two churches. Cities evolve.
There isn't much of an Italian community left, is there? Some of them are still around but aging and evaporating, and the kids mostly took off or don't latch onto the Italian identity like their parents/grandparents did. And whoever is still going to church, a number shrinking every year, moved down Grafton St. a few years back when Mt. Carmel closed.
 

Arenacale

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There's definitely too many Catholic churches in that immediate vicinity. Mt. Carmel is within walking distance of St. John's, Holy Family and St. Stephen's (the latter 2 of which are literally across the street from each other and are now the same parish). In a different era, they served individual ethnic communities - Mt. Carmel was Italian, Holy Family was Quebecois, and St. Stephen's was Irish. In some regards, this is still true - Holy Family had actually been closed for a number of years, but was reopened thanks to community pressure. It's now carved out a niche for the Haitian and Brazilian communities in the Grafton Hill area. We live in a nearby town, but were until recently members of Holy Family because my wife had a connection with the pastor, who has since left. The English Masses were fine for attendance, St. Stephen's always did better, but the Brazilian Mass especially was huge every week. Meanwhile, St. John's focuses on works and serving the homeless, and it is as healthy as it ever was.
 

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