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Worcester,Mass - Places of the Past, Worcester Commons
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The monument was erected in 1861 by the great-grandson of Col. Timothy Bigelow. A young oak tree was also planted nearby.
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User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about Worcester Commons from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Neil H Donahue - Report this comment
The War Memorial was I believe, moved twice in changing of the Worcester commom. Graves of Early residents were also uncovered near the Bigelow Monument and not reburied on the common. The Worcester Common had underground Restrooms And shoes shined for a nickel. They made a big mistake in changing any of the common. The Worcester Outlet killed all the business on Main And Front St.

Worcester's Past was it's future. You missed it when it was at it's best. Trolly cars, movie theatres like the Family, Warner, Olympia, Elm St, Plymouth. Lois Poli, Royal, Rialto, Stand, Capitol and Park Ave. Boy,we had it all and didn't know it. But most of all the sidewalks were loaded with people who were the Heartbeat of Worcester.

Pete Taylor - Report this comment
I agree with Neil. I remember the underground bathrooms but in the 50's they weren't too clean. I only used them a few times. I remember the theaters - especially the plymouth that would play all the "documentary" films that showed native women topless. Quite a thrill for a 15 year old. I also remember a theater that was on pleasant st, right off main and it showed "art" films. I watched "And God Created Women" with Briget Bardot there in 1957 or '58. The people really made the city vibrant.
The monument was erected in 1861 by the greast-grandson of Col. Timothy Bigelow. A young oak tree was also planted nearby.
David Rivenburgh - Report this comment
I grew up on Orange street.Which was about a 4 minute walk from the commons my brother and I spent a lot of time there after a rain you could pick nightcrowlers and in the day we would just chill out.after I got a little older I shined shoes by the bus terminal for a dime.and sold newspapers on both corners were the bus terminel was and at the corner of Pleasent street.I have many great memories of this area.
Richard Card - Report this comment
I was there when they had the BIG parades and to do's down main street to the commons - had to fight for a seat but everyone was polite - even let you march in the parade it was a real family affair. I was also there for the big parade and dedication for the Galleria Mall and how we heard that there were bodies found in the commons area and reburied in new graves - I remember a topic in the paper about not wanting to redo the old commons for new roads and building. Maybe when they look at it now they will have second thoughts next time.
Sadly, the reflecting pool is on its way out again, there is currently another renovation going on; I remember when the fountains were still on, it was beautiful, but they were eventually turned off, It must've been about five or ten years since they were actually on :-(
Terry Grimala - Report this comment
I think the common used to be a beautiful place. The shrubbery, trees & flowers is all it needs. Why do they have to keep tearing it up along with history?
Darrel Prescott - Report this comment
I grew up on Wall street and Suffilk street. My first class trip from Grafton Street Elementary, with the best teacher I ever had Mrs Brochous, was to this memorial. I dont remember much of what she told about due to being "in love" with the girl I was forced to hold hands with for the walk there, but I can remember going to the commons a lot, and even remember swearing in to the military in the shadow of this memorial in 1983. Worcester is a great town and its people are its essance...
For the person who said the outlets ruined the business, got some good news: the outlets are being demolished next month! it was renovated in the 80's, but the crime rate in the area soared, killing business to the outlets. I think the new "shoppes at blackstone valley" had something to do with it also.
Alton Drake - Report this comment
Back in the early 70’s, when Worcester Center first opened, the commons became a popular hang-out for many teenagers. There were several of us from various parts of the city who would congregate there every day after school. Of course, we had our kicks and some of the best times back then, but seriously, my best friendships happened there. I left the city in 78 and have visited a few times since then. I’m sure that folks would probably be amazed at how a kid from the inner city of Worcester could have succeeded so well in life as I have. The common has probably been the kind of place for social interaction since it first was conceived those hundreds of years ago. I wonder who started the idea of the “common” anyway. I for one am certainly appreciative of how the place enriched my life. I’m thankful for having grown up in Worcester and I hope to someday to meet up with those old friends I had met there.
bill sumner - Report this comment
i have fond memories of the common in the50' was a place for a date just eating or feeding the pigeons from the wooden seats.the popcorn seller had a cart and sold the popcorn for $.05 and $.10 for a small or large bag or box.we all lived in harmony.i believe i lived in the best era in mankindand. worcester is a place where i was fortunate enough to grow up,and the common was central to most bus routes.oh what great memories
In the 60's kids would congregate on the common, playing music and socializing. We could still use the bathrooms then. Girls used to buy "hippie" earrings etc from Kay MacDonald's; downstairs at 50 Franklin St.
Christopher Whittle - Report this comment
The pool was demolished in 2005.
raymond wyman- December 08, 2007 - Report this comment
i remember the commen as a kid....the peanut vendor time was the best.....all the colored lights......the hustle and bustle of main st.......those were the good old days
Candice- November 14, 2008 - Report this comment
FYI - They are currently constructing a small ice skating rink on the common, directly behind the back of City Hall.
Clay Gleason- April 28, 2009 - Report this comment
I remember the common well.i have a picture of me as a few month old baby in 1945 at one of the tulip beds that were planted around the common with the 57&10's in the background on front street.Everything was close by.Shopping, theaters,and Bus stps to everywhere in the city.As a teen i was around the common or front of city hall.I remember the Police on the corners near City Hall directing traffic. Jack Joyce on one corner and Warren Williams on another.It was a happier and friendlier time.It's nice to have all of the memories of the city.
Dianne V.- November 11, 2013 - Report this comment
I also spent a lot of time on Worcester Common/ Center in the early 70's as well. I didn't live in Worcester, I lived in Oxford. But I certainly had some wild times there. It wasn't the happiest time of my life for a lot of reasons. I remember Alton very well. I will never forget him.
Lola- December 05, 2013 - Report this comment
Remember that ridiculous cop who went undercover; he tried to be a freak. He was dressed in a fringed brown buck skin coat. The fact that his hair was short and the women cop hanging around the center was his "aunt" was such a give away. He threatened to bust me when I told Mike A. who he was.
Dianne V.- December 05, 2013 - Report this comment
I remember that dweb! Once Mike A. "talked" to him, he was never seen again at the center.
Mike- December 05, 2013 - Report this comment
This is some serious deva vu! Led Zepplin and smoking weed on the common.
Dianne V.- December 05, 2013 - Report this comment
Does anyone remember that man who played his guitar on the common standing on a wooden box? It was so funny! He used to wear a cowboy hat and called himself Tex. And the guitar only had 2 strings and he used to give out homemade tickets to his "performances", Man, was he funny.
Lola- December 14, 2013 - Report this comment
I remember Tex. Man! What a character. I think he was a long time resident of the state hospital. Strumming on his guitar with no strings. What a trip!
DMK- December 15, 2013 - Report this comment
I remember so many cool people to, guys I hung out with. There was G.C., his bro. G., butchie the tall dude with dreadlocks, and A.D. who I was very fond of but who - in the end - wanted no part of me.
Gidge- April 06, 2014 - Report this comment
The "1896" picture is earlier than 1887 as the Old South Church (removed in 1887)is still standing in this picture (Old City Hall is to the right -- that was not removed until after the New City Hall was built in 1898).
Robin Patriarca- May 24, 2016 - Report this comment
I was a mall rat in the 70's and spent a lot of time in the commons with Brenda Sassa. I must've known you Alton, it was around the same time. I too, in the long run, turned out well.
Andrea Miller- September 03, 2020 - Report this comment
I remember back in the mid 50's at the Common in Worcester there were underground bathroom facilities! People had to pay 10 cents to use them! Does anyone else remember that?

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