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Worcester,Mass - Places of the Past, The Antiquarian Society
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Originally called the Worcester Society of Antiquity, it was organized on January 23rd, 1875 and incorporated on March 22, 1877. Women were first admitted in 1893. Until the completion of the building on Salisbury Street in the Fall of 1891, the society met in leased rooms in Bank Block on Foster Street. The land was donated by Hon. Stephen Salisbury and the building as we see it today originally cost $25,000 (1891 dollars) to complete.
Don Latino - Report this comment
I think Mr. Cote may be confusing the Worcester Historical Society with the American Antiquarian Society. The building shown above is the present building of the A.A.S. which was founded by Isaiah Thomas in 1812. The first building was located on Summer Street, the second at the corner of Main and Highland and this is the third building on the corner of Park Ave. and Salisbury Street. Isaiah Thomas' printing press, upon which he produced the famous "Massachusetts Spy" newspaper, is on display in this building.
jim sadowski- November 08, 2008 - Report this comment
The building in picture at Lincoln square, highland street, where the auditorium now is. Not long after the establishment of the American Antiquarian Society, its founder, Isaiah Thomas, began to plan a building in which its library could be safely held and used. By 1818 he had received preliminary plans from Peter Banner, the Boston architect, but Thomas played a large role in the final arrangement of the structure, which was dedicated on August 24, 1820. This, the first Antiquarian Hall, stood at the corner of Worcester Center Boulevard and Belmont Street, the present site of the Worcester Police Department headquarters (formerly the site of the famed Valhalla Bar and Grill). It was one of the earliest buildings constructed in this country that was specifically designed as a library. The second Antiquarian Hall was built in 1854 on the opposite side of Lincoln Square, next to Bulfinch's 1803 Worcester County Courthouse (per jim charles bulfinch architect). By 1876 the collections had grown to such an extent that an addition was needed, the cost of which was borne by Stephen Salisbury II. Designed by the local architect Stephen C. Earle, it nearly doubled the shelf space for books and served well until the demand for still more space required new arrangements after the turn of the century. The building of the present Antiquarian Hall at 185 Salisbury Street, at the corner of Park Avenue, had far-reaching effects upon the course of the Society's work. When Stephen Salisbury III died in 1905, the Society received a bequest of $200,000 and a parcel of his land, obtained from the trustees of the Worcester Art Museum, on which to build a new Antiquarian Hall.
jim sadowski- November 12, 2008 - Report this comment
1871 map shows location aside court house. Should anyone want a jpg view, email me jim28518@yahoo Indicate worcester map or the like in subject line

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