Today hitting Worcester for places on the National Register of Historic Places. Concentrating my efforts on the Vernon Hill area.
Part of the fun is researching why places are on the register. Some of the reasons could be the person (like George Washington), the architect (Frank Llyod Wright), style, or an event. For the most part Vernon Hill was primarily event driven from the standpoint of the development of the area and the folks moving into the area. Vernon Hill area is the east of downtown Worcester. The Irish began settling the area in the 1820's to build the Blackstone Canal. By the 1890's the area was attracting Lithuanians, Poles, Swedes, Russian Jews and French Canadians because of the wire steel mills located not to far away. When the electric railway systems ran on Millbury St, the area exploded with the 3 decker properties. Folks were able to live further away from work because of the easy transportation. Automobiles replaced the street cars in the 1930's and the Great Depression halted further development in the area. The mills began to shut down over the next 20 to 25 years until the last one closed in the 70's. So that's the story of Vernon Hill, at least my take.
I probably hit 40 to 50 places this past weekend, mostly 3 Deckers. I figured once you have seen one you have seen one too many. In many respects this is true, but as I drove thru the various sub neighborhoods one could see subtle changes to the make up and the design of the houses. Many of them have had the front porches and balconies removed and siding has been replaced with aluminum or vinyl, and satellite dishes mounted to the sides. What surprised me is how clean the areas were. The folks, and they are diverse, do take some kind of pride where they live.
On thing for sure, I wouldn't want to live here in the winter. This place is steep, not a lot of parking at the properties, so they have to park on the street. Snow plowing has gotta be a bitch and getting up some of these hills, the same.
Here's a few spattering of the Deckers and other places.
First Decker of the Day
Upsala Street School - Built 1894
View of Euclid Montrose Historic District
View Street Historic District
Perry Avenue Historic District
Patrick McGuiness Three Decker - Built in 1908 - a wee bit different than all of the rest.
Providence St Firehouse - Built in 1899
Providence St Historic District
Woodford Street Historic District
Ward Street School - Built 1898
Crompton Loom Works - its original portion dating to 1860, the complex is one of the oldest surviving industrial sites in the city. The facility was established by George Crompton, whose father William had invented the first power loom for weaving fancy fabrics
What I expected most of the 3 Deckers to look like. These were far and few between. The McPartland Three Decker was built in 1888.
Classic example - Vincent Kantratowicz, a wire worker owned this 3 decker. It was built in 1930
Another nice one
Look down Dorchester St
See them all CLICK HERE