Working with Worcester Preservation, we transformed the Ernest A. Johnson Tunnel under Lincoln Square with a series of 16 vignettes illuminating historical buildings from Worcester’s past. The cones of LED lights extend down from the tunnel’s street lights, revealing the stories of buildings people pass every day on the streets of Worcester.
Failed 17th Century Settlements – The earliest English settlements in the region that would become Worcester were destroyed in 1675 during King Philip’s War. After settlers abandoned their homes, the Native American Nipmuc tribe burned the colonial architecture to the ground.
Second County Courthouse – Built in 1751 on Court Hill, this is where future president John Adams received his early training in law. (WHAT IS THE STORY FOR THE MILITIA MEN????)
Salisbury House and Mansion – The three Salisbury brothers enjoy a drink in front of the fire. Owners of a successful store, they are the builders of both the Salisbury House (out the left window) and the Salisbury Mansion (out the right window).
Oread Collegiate Institute – Founded by Eli Thayer in 1849, the Oread was one of the country’s first institutions of higher learning for women. Here, young students read as they lounge on the lawn.
Mechanics Hall – Built in 1857 as a site for cultural events, Mechanics Hall was designed by prominent Worcester architect Elbridge Boyden. Here Boyden draws up plans for the hall, which is known for its flawless acoustics.
Washburn & Moen Wire Works – The factory on Grove Street was the largest 19th century industry and the earliest American production of wire, beginning in 1834. It is a sprawling factory that hugs the river bend.
Worcester State Hospital – The hospital’s central clock tower was the landmark of this Victorian Gothic style complex. Originally built in 1878 to relieve overcrowding at the original Worcester State Lunatic Asylum, it was the first public mental hospital and one of the first state mental institutions in the nation.
Three-Decker Houses – Worcester is still considered the “three-decker city”, with over 6,000 of these tall, narrow three-family homes built near large factories between the 1870s and 1930. Their rectangular footprint was designed to maximize the number of buildings with access to the street.
Worcester City Hall – City Hall was designed by Boston architects Peabody & Stearns and stands on the site of the old 1763 Meeting House, where Revolutionary era town meetings took place. It has been the center of municipal affairs in Worcester since 1989.
Bancroft Tower – The 56-foot structure built of boulders and cobbles was constructed in honor of Worcester-born George Bancroft, an historian, statesman, and founder of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. It is one of three stone observatory structures built in parks in the late nineteenth century.
Union Station – The demands of modern railroad tracks and growing rail traffic led to the design and construction of Union Station between 1909 and 1911. The station became a monument of civic pride representing the prosperity of the city.
Worcester Market Building – Opened in 1914, the Worcester Market was believed to be the largest grocery supply store in the United States and the predecessor of the modern supermarket. The building’s facade is presided over by an elegant bull’s head.
George’s Coney Island Hot Dogs – Approaching its 100-year anniversary, George’s Coney Island Hot Dogs is a Worcester landmark. It was originally built in 1918, but the until 2940 that the 60-ft neon sign was added, giving the building the profile hotdog lovers recognize today.
Worcester Boy’s Club – Here boys swim past a trophy case in the Worcester Boy’s Club. Originally built in 1930, the club was constructed as part of a “City Beautiful” effort in Lincoln Square.
Worcester Memorial Auditorium – Built in Lincoln Square in 1932 as a memorial to Worcester citizens who served in WWI, the Neo-Classical structure contains original murals from the time of its construction. In the drawing a marching band parades by.
Miss Worcester Diner – Classic diners were a major mid-century export of Worcester and were shipped all over the Eastern Seaboard. The Miss Worcester was built in 1948 across the street from the Worcester Lunch Car Company factory and served for years as a “show diner” and testing ground for new features.