WorcesterThen: 1919


Aerial View of Downtown Worcester, 1919

This shot was taken from an airplane flown by, or on behalf of, a Mr. Sherer, presumably a family member,  if not the proprietor himself, of C. T. Sherer’s Department store at 54 Front Street. Mr. Sherer likely was the photographer.

Source:  unknown

Start by locating City Hall and the Common behind it.  Buildings across the street on Main and along Front Street are obscured and difficult to follow, but along Franklin Street the viewing is better.

At the corner of Main and Franklin is the Park Building, the ten-story steel frame skyscraper of the era designed by Cross and Cross, major architects of New York, completed in 1915, considered Class I office space in its time, and a story in itself. 

Next to the Park are two adjacent buildings of lesser height, the Worcester Trust Co. and the Telegram, then  a vacant lot, and another large building.

The largest building on Franklin Street is the Bancroft Hotel, open six years and in its heyday in 1919. The Bancroft was far and away Worcester’s number one hotel for the “discriminating traveler” (many of whom were traveling salesmen).  It also is a planned future

topic for WorcesterThen - hopefully to include a virtual tour of  the building in the 1920s by use of available photographs.

At the foot of the Common is the triangular shape of Salem Square, with two large churches overlooking the Common, the bottom end of which was the old burial ground of the colonial era, but which by 1919 had been covered over, not to be recovered until construction began on the Worcester Center Galleria complex in the 1970s.

Union Station to the left, now eight years in service, divides the incoming tracks from the west (right side) into the rails on the far side of the building heading east, ultimately to Boston, and those in front of the station, heading north (downward to the left), and passing through Lincoln Square shortly after going out of view.

The boundary street at the lower-left is Foster Street.

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Don Chamberlayne, 2016