While it took me a while to find it, I ended up selecting the Worcester Architecture Sightseeing Tour, a self-guided GPSMYCITY.com tour. I have lived in the Worcester area for most of my life, but I did not know the history of many of these buildings.
There are eight sites on the tour, but I decided to focus on the first four, Bancroft Tower, Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Boynton Hall, Tuckerman Hall, and the Worcester Memorial Auditorium. They are all relatively close to each other and easy to park near my work and then walk to.
While there is no augmented reality, and this is no Histories of the National Mall, it was an informative tour through a beautiful area. Learn more about The CityWalk Apps. The map itself was good, but it was listed as a “Sight Map” instead of a Site Map.
It made me sad to see Worcester Memorial Auditorium, a beautiful building, so deserted. I can remember basketball games, graduations, concerts, and theatre events there. I took a course in Community during my senior year in college, and Worcester was our community. I kept thinking how the downtown area, where the Auditorium and Tuckerman Hall are, has changed since I took that course. As I walked and read about each site, I learned about both architectural styles and people, including the female architect who created Tuckerman Hall, who were important in Worcester’s history. Unfortunately, Josephine Wright Chapman, the architect, is not in A Woman of the Century. WPI is a beautiful campus, and I was glad to learn more about Boynton, his hall, and the Earle family. Bancroft Tower is a fascinating structure, and it has been the site of plays that I have attended. It is a walk from WPI, but it is worth it.
I did find it interesting to note that these sites were all on the more affluent side of Worcester. I’m sure that the creators could expand the tour to beautiful buildings in other areas of the city.
The tour seems to present the message that Worcester is a city which has changed over time, but still respects its history. This tour does not mention immigrants, but the Landmark tour does. I’ll be sure to take that tour on another day.