It is because of my memory of seeing Union Station in Worcester MA in a tragic state of disrepair many years ago that I am so happy to report that it has been renovated (in 2000), and is once again a beautiful and elegant confection of a landmark – deep in the heart of Worcester (clap-clap-clap)!
The first time I saw Union Station it was as I emerged from the 290 underpass after driving down Shrewsbury street. There it loomed, a once grand old building, boarded up and grimy yet still looking impressive, despite it’s dishabille. All I could think of was – and bear with me here – is the underground scene from Beneath The Planet Of The Apes….
You can see what I mean about the sad state of disrepair if you click this link to some great before and after photos of the Union Station renovation taken by Vistadome Views. Seeing the befores TOTALLY make you savor the afters.
The station opened in 1911, but with a decrease in trolley and train travel through the 1960′s it closed in 1972. The Worcester Redevelopment Authority acquired the building in 1997, and began a $32 million dollar restoration project, and the doors to the station were reopened in 2000. Hooray for not demolishing it!
The station’s original interior featured marble and terra cotta finishes, stained-glass ceilings and solid birch benches. I did not see any birch benches during my quick scout of the station ( as the whole Retro Roadfamily waited in the car ) but boy did I try to capture the beautifully renovated interior and stained glass with my little point and shoot camera.
There also appears to be a restaurant, though I could not determine if it was closed just because it was Saturday, or closed permanently. Any Worcesterites care to chime in? The place certainly looks swanky through the windows:
Both Retro Roadsis and Retro Roadhusband came in at different points to see what was taking me so long as I scurried around the place trying to snap as many photos as I could, knowing my time there was limited. They both were impressed with the space, but when RRsis and I saw a security guard walking our way we thought it was best to get back to the car and on our way. We were doing nothing wrong mind you, but in this day and age you just never know.
So if you’re going to Worcester, consider arriving by train, or at least make a point to stop and admire the fact that Worcester returned this landmark to its proper grandeur!
2 Washington Square
Worcester MA 01604
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