December 22, 2009

Worceser Plaza


This is what the ORIGINAL plans for the glass tower on Pleasant/Main. It called for, a 50 story 211.84 meter highrise which would have been the third tallest building in New England:





Thanks


Harry T


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Federal Reserve Bank in Boston stole that design !!! Could you imagine if that Worcester Plaza would have been built? Downtown would have a whole different feel to it...

Harry T
Worcester,MA

Anonymous said...

Could you imagine now, with all the building/height restrictions in Boston ...if some developer came in and proposed a 70 story high rise in Worcester how pissed Tom Menino would be? The tallest building in New England...in WORCESTER ?!?!?!? ...don't laugh...it could happen ... once the new trains are added such developments could be a thing of the future. The perfect spot for one of these? The old Shaw's property on Grafton Street...

Just my 2 cents...

Harry T
Worcester,MA

Anonymous said...

BTW ... regarding Best Buy leaving Greendale Mall for Millbury ... Whole Foods goes in where Best Buy is and Trader Joe's goes in where Marshall's was ...VOILA! Greendale Mall is reinvented as a year round,destination mall ...are ya hearing me Ms. Jacobsen? Make it happen, please !!!

Harry T
Worcester,MA

Anonymous said...

Looks like the plans for Worcester Plaza got scaled down pretty big ...let's hope this doesn't happen with CitySquare...

Harry T
Worcester,MA

David Z. said...

Harry,

IMHO, it would have looked out of place unless several other buildings in the 30 - 40 story range had been built along with it.

And I don't think there would have been enough class 1 office space demand to have the other buildings constructed to complement it.

Anonymous said...

Gosh that is an ugly building - Glad it was never built.

Anonymous said...

Dave:

True...but Worcester Plaza was built in the 1970s. Boston's skyline in the 70s was just the Pru and Hancock. Downtown Boston exploded in the 1980s so a lot of THAT development could have been steered towards Worcester had the original Worcester Plaza been built.

Harry T
Worcester,MA

Anonymous said...

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_Bank_Building_(Boston)

Very similar in design.

Harry T
Worcester,MA

Juan said...

Harry your Whole Foods Idea for Worc is a nice thot.......but I mean the Worc demographics are just not there.......

Our demographics are such they we'll be like Lawrence soon........Chickens raised in doorless kitchen cabinets covered in chicken wire... and your friendly, local neighborhood canine roasted in theathtub for Sundae dinner.......both factual statements if one can believe what is printed in the Beantown daily media.

This aint Cambridge where every 3rd caaaah is a Prius......this is Worcester where once again the fastest growing demographics are 31 year old grandmothers whose grand children were conceived in the back seat of a 1981 Corolla Low rider on the 3rd weekend in August.........

T-Traveler said...

growing up in the 70's, We had a commerative dinner plate at home showing th e original design for Worcester Center. It too was grander than what was built

Gabe said...

If you go to the Worcester Historical Museum's library they have all the T+G articles from the original Worcester Center proposal. That plus this Worcester Plaza would have given the city a completely different look. I think there were 3 towers in the original Worcester Center AND there was supposed to be a performing arts center at the corner of Franklin and Federal.

These articles made me wonder what City Square will turn out to be in the end.

Steve said...

Worcester and too many other U.S. cities had then and have now edifice complexes and a lack of commitment to sufficient marketing resources. As a result, it's highly unlikely that a 70-story building would have made much of a difference for downtown Worcester.

That is, unless the leaders of our city back then had possessed a much different vision of cities, their downtowns and their neighborhoods than did those who actually ran Worcester four decades ago. Unfortunately, we cannot yet time travel to try making this happen.

The same problem could occur with Unum's proposed Worcester headquarters, to be built across Worcester Center Boulevard from Union Station.

That is, unless we and the City Hall leaders we've elected and hired demand a people-attractive, people-friendly urban landscape for our downtown. To accomplish this feat, we do not need time travel.

For more information on urban architecture that meets well the street, check out the Worcester Business Journal and Telegram & Gazette articles in the early '80s regarding the urban-design charrettes facilitated by Harvard University urban-design professor Alex Krieger.

Many good things came out of those charrettes. For example: Worcester Medical Center was redesigned from the original suburban-industrial-park fortress on a man-made hill to its present, much more people-scale and street-friendly massing; several previously one-way, east-west downtown streets were made two-way; more and better signage was installed to show outsiders how to get in and out of downtown; and parking overlays were established along Shrewsbury Street to make it more business-friendly.

Yet another source of excellent ideas for people-scale urban design can be found in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written 50 years ago by the now-late Jane Jacobs. Progressive urban planners use this book as their urban-design Bible.

During the '50s in New York City, Jacobs successfully took on the powerful Robert Moses, the infamous star of Robert Caro's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Power Broker. Check out the new book, Wrestling with Moses, by Anthony Flint regarding this epic battle.

Worcester needs its own version of a Jane Jacobs and/or an Alex Krieger coupled with a real marketing campaign -- before the edifice-complex fanatics make downtown even less people-attractive and people-friendly.

Happy Holidays!

Steve Jones-D'Agostino
Worcester

Steve said...

Correction: The Worcester urban-design charrettes facilitated by Alex Krieger took place in the early '90s -- not the early '80s.