Worcester Improvements

WormtownNative

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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.
The Italian community that's still left is still active, but it's smaller in size. Can't go further than that as I'm no longer a practicing Catholic nor am I Italian in any way, shape, or form (unless you count an affection for good pizza and pasta.)

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.
Could not have said it any better myself. I think however, that the closures have only started. They will continue to close down as the weekly attendance and the supply of priests dwindles.
 

WormtownNative

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Update for this project....as was predicted on here, financing has proven difficult. "Plan B" is in effect:

...Originally plan A, called for a nearly $2 million project to repair the music hall and bring old school big names and up and coming artists to play on the stage. The project also included, building out a restaurant and buying equipment. Flynn and Wright hoped to close on the theater by the end of July through kickstarter funding and other private donations.

Funding fell short and the duo paid monthly costs to extend the due diligence period, which ran through July.

With more than $80,000 already sunk into the theater built in 1891, plan B involves shelving live music in the concert space for now.

Instead, the focus is to open the restaurant first, generate revenue through it before turning the focus back on the theater space.

“The realization was strong a week ago, but it’s always been there on the back burner,” Flynn said. “It’s always been our plan B. We just didn’t come up with it.”
It’s all contingent on Flynn and Wright purchasing the building, which they have a deposit on.

About a year ago, they reached out to the building’s owner Dick Rizzo, who acquired the building in 2006 for $60,000. The property is set to be sold for about 10 times that.

“It’s been very stressful the last six month,” Flynn said.

They’ve talked to about 15 private investors - some in person and others on the phone. Nothing materialized as they still lacked about $400,000 to continue with renovations.

“Every single (investor) says ‘You’ve got 15 seconds to get 15 minutes, go!’” Flynn said. “It’s very stressful because, for me, I like to talk to people and see how they’re looking. Are they digging what you’re saying or not? So when you’re on the phone talking to someone from Georgia or LA or Nevada, you wonder, who is this person?”
Full Article
 

SlothofDespond

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Within a few blocks of the Olympia are: the DCU, Mechanics Hall, the Hanover Theatre, and the Palladium. There was also a relatively large stage outdoor concert series this summer in the parking lot behind the Palladium. I'm guessing that continues going forward since it seemed well-attended. Between all those venues that's a lot of coverage of different types of stage needs. I'm guessing securing funding for this might be a tough sell.
 

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