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Union Station, Your Opinions

Worcester Union Station
You can click on the picture for a bigger image. Image by Philip Levasseur (1991), used with his permission.

Worcester Union Station
You can click on the picture for a bigger image. Images were taken June 12, 1999 with my digital camera.

This page is for people to share info about the Union Station renovation. If you have any information on the ongoing project you can share, please feel free to send it to me. If you want to see what it looked like in the past, check Union Station in the Past.

You can buy a book about the old station

There's a nice book about the station for sale at Amazon.Com

we moved out of worcester in 1985 but i must admit its more beautifull than ever. angel
Comment by: Angel Stanley
I like the idea of the Union Station existing as an all-in-one transportation center. I am unset, however, at the idea of building a WHOLE NEW PARKING GARAGE, when there is the Fashion Outlets garage right across the boulevard! The Fashion Outlets garage RARELY fills up; and the CITY OF WORCESTER could make a lot more money charging for parking INSTEAD OF BUILDING A WHOLE NEW GARAGE!!!! This idea, of building a new garage, is the same as, oh say, building a new medical facility when one already exists not FIVE MILES away. (Not to mention that the original sketch of Medical City promised at least ten feet clearance from the sidewalk, with LOTS of trees, and well, look at what a monstrocity that has become!) PEOPLE OF WORCESTER, UNITE!!! Make sure that the horrible, and obviously poorly staffed OFFICE of PLANNING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT does not bungle things up any more. They are the people who made Worcester Airport the prettiest, most extravagant FREIGHT airport in the world...Too bad you have to drive all the way to RI or Boston to leave if you're not a box! How crazy is this?!? Please, keep Worcester a great place to live! Keep the planners OUT!
Comment by: Jacqui Hawk
As a worcester native, I am just thrilled to see this renovation under way! I cant wait until its "unveiling", I drive my family crazy because every time we drive by it, I say "everybody look at the beautiful building!!"
Comment by: linda mcwilliam
its been close to five years since I been back to Worcester. Since my moms passing, I am afraid it may be a long time before I get up that way again. I graduated from Doherty M.H.S in 1976, joined the air force then move to the norhern Virginia/Washington D.C. area. I would love to see some pictures of my home town, and find out how the Worcester Centrum is doing. Also whatever became of "the Worcester Center? thanks Bob Burke
Comment by: Robert Burke
I haven't lived in Mass. since July of 1997, and the Union Station was still empty and looking horrible when I left. The change is just amazing! Thanks for putting up a site where I can remincse.
Comment by: Tracy
They should have figured a way to use the twin towers as communications antennaes to handle a lot of the dead zones for safety communications or leased them out to cell phone companies to get income for maintenance of the station. Lets not go the same route of the past and let this station fall into disrepair. Most of our city buildings are falling into deterioration because of inadequate funding.
Comment by: Neil H Donahue
The Union Station is absolutely a beautiful renovation that was much needed for quite sometime. Despite the success of revitalzing the Union Station, Worcester still has a long way to go in terms of referbishing many other buildings in the city. (Water St., Green st. ect.) Many of the cities neighborhoods have also fallen into despare within the last twenty to thirty years. Its ashame that the city does not pay more attention to the crack houses and other deteriorating structures that give the city a black eye. My mother grew up on Grafton Hill some thirty years ago and admits that many neighborhoods have fallen apart. Then again this can be found in any other major city. There are great and caring people who reside in Worcester that must help in tackling the persistant problem of urban decay.
Comment by: Frank Albano
I think it's really cool. I used to play around in it's crumbling insides - it was dangerous, but climbing around in the scary heights of the crumbling inner ledges with friends was a fun summer passtime - of course, we should have been in school on some of those days ^_^ Your site is *most excellent*!! Thanks for a place to remember Woostah on the net!!
Comment by: Jesse Robinson
I remember going to the station as a young boy. My father used to take me there to watch the trains come in. I remember hearing the horn and seeing the big New York Central diesels pulling what looked like a mile long string of passenger cars. We moved to Buffalo in 1962, this web site is my first view of the station since that time. Pictures look nice. Good job!
Comment by: Don Wilson
Union Station looks beautiful in these photos. I am happy it is being renovated and not torn down to make room for a modern monstrocity. Just wish I could be there to see it in person.
Comment by: Arline (Taylor) Larson
Good ol' Wistah and its rich history!! Union Station is certainly a great old edifice worthy of renovation. Many a thrill was had by me watching the New York Central, then the B&A (Boston and Albany), the B&M (Boston & Maine), and I'm not certain about the NY,NH&H (New York, New Haven & Hartford) railroads with those wonderfully long passenger trains going through, first pulled by huge old steam locomotives, then later on, by the Diesels. I surely hope that the multi-modal transportation center plans include a railroad museum, complete with the sounds and pictures of a bygone era. During a recent trip to Worcester, I was running very late on my way to the Cape, otherwise I would have stopped to take some photos. It looks great, indeed!! And I agree on the parking garage redundancy and also on how Worcester needs better passenger air transport too! Bruce
Comment by: Bruce Hedquist
This is one of the most grand buildings in New England. Thanks to those involved in preserving it. I would like to see space set aside for an animated diorama of the Washing- square area as it existed at the opening of this station in 1911. Included in this model would be of course the union station with running model trains moving in and out, trolleys along the streets connecting Washington Square and detailed buildings and street scenes making that time in history come to life. I have had experience in building this type of display and am currently building what I just described in my own home. If anyone shares my vision please contact me by Email. Mike Lavin
Comment by: mike lavin
FANTASTIC!!!!!Even if it is never fully utilized,it had to be restored.It sickened me to see how it had deteriorated.Im so glad the city found it in their hearts to retore this beautiful piece of Worcester.I cry anytime I see an old building torn down.To buy the materials used in some of these buildings at todays prices is impossible.To see beautiful marble and sculpture work and carved woodwork plowed into the ground and covered over by a chrome and glass building,wrenches my insides.THANK YOU to all responsible parties for seeing the Union Station restoration project thru to completion!!!P.S. I cannot pass by Union Station now without smiling ear to ear!!!I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!
Comment by: BRIAN
Though I live now in West Virginia, I visit Worcester every summer. I am simply thrilled with the newly renovated Union Station. As an active user of the commuter rail service to Boston, I love walking through the station. Mr. Hedquist used the phrase "parking garage redundancy" to describe the idiocy of building another parking garage. I agree with him completely. However, as we all know, the station needs some (business) tenants. How about a cyber cafe? Any other ideas?
Comment by: J. Desoto y Vega
I think it turned out to be real shocker for those now left to put their foots in their mouth after saying it would never be rebuilt!
Comment by: Erica Fairbanks
I was a disc jockey on 14Q, WFTQ, in the 80's. I lived off Grafton Street and, for fun, used to walk the railroad tracks from S. Grafton all the way to Union Station. Probably did it at least 20 times, and I would always feel a sense of history when I approached that grand old facade. I often wondered if it would ever be restored, or if it would simply crumble into a pile of stone and rubble one day. I'm thrilled that restoration won the battle! The pictures look great!
Comment by: Dave Taylor
I've only lived in Worcester since 1998 when I started at WPI. Since then I've seen Union Station transform into what it is today. Last weekend, while waiting for our movie at the Bijou to start, my girlfriend and I took a walk over to see the insides for the first time. Lo and behold what did we find? A rather large empty space. Where are the vendors? Bangkok is currently having the same problem with their new subway system, which was supposed to solve all of their traffic congestion and air pollution problems. Unfortunately the vending company went bankrupt, so now the jewel of south east Asia has miles and miles of empty tracks running beneath her. I'd like to see the day when Union Station rivals South Station in Boston. It can happen.
Comment by: Andrew Keefe
What else can be said, save for it is a thing of wonder. I Really like this town and I am in love with that building. I just wish I had more reasons to visit it. Perhaps we can get some buisiness going inside. Restraunts maybe a starbucks, or even a bar/nightclub just like everything else on shrewsbury street. At the very least I'm extremly excited that it's restored and beutiful again. Thank you to everyone involved with saving our landmark.
Comment by: Danny C
my memory brings me back to a time in 1963 when i enlisted in the United States Airforce. I took a train from union Station to Springfield, ma.. I then was put on a plan to san Antonio, Texas where i took my basic training. When I returned to Worcester after my time was up in the service, 1967, I once again had the pleasure of riding a train from Boston into Worcester. Back in those days, the station was used very little if memory serves me correctly. over the years i watched as the old building became a mess. Then from out of the ashes (sic) the present beautiful station arose.
Comment by: Charles Scioscia jr
I was born in Worcester and lived there all through the '40's and '50's. Union Station has never looked better. Congratulations to those responsible. Is there still a traffic rotary in front of the station? Thanks for the page.
Comment by: Bob Lowe
i think it looks beautiful, we need to put it too use. to beautiful to let it become abandon
Comment by: phillip george
I think the station is very beautiful, but what we really need is more trains to Boston on a daily schedule.
Comment by: Dave Doane
WOW! What a beautiful job they have done to one of my most favorite buildings - as a boy. I too have similar memories as Dave Taylor and Jesse Robinson (earlier posters on this site). I used to live in the "Main South" area and would deliberately miss my bus. With a few friends, we would walk to school at Woodland Prep (St. Joesphs) and later on Grafton Middle School. Of course, we took the railroad tracks from (I think it was) Oread Street to the Union Station. Several times we found our way into the broken down station and walked around. As an early teen (around 1972) I admired the grandeur of the main seating area. I believe there was still a barber-shop that was open at the front of the building; I think a black man ran the shop. Thanks for this Web site - Charles. It's been 13 years since I visited Worcester; you've brought back some great childhood memories.
Comment by: Will Marengo (aka Sturtevant)
My grandfather and his brotther walked across the United States in 1911 , starting in Boston and they collected postcards along the way. Union station is one of the postcards. I have been retracing their walk and taking pictures of the old postcard sites. It is sad to see how many archetectual masterpieces like the Union Station are gone and replaced with "the Lost Generation" strip malls. I commend all responsible for the renovation. Thankyou for saving beauty for generations to come. Bruce Buffum Tulsa, Oklahoma
Comment by: bruce buffum
I have lived in the city for most of my life and for that I am happy. I am not always sure what City Hall is thinking or doing downtown. Yet truly this is one thing that they have done right! I remember the stories that my Father and Mother would tell me about the station and how when they were kids they would go into it and how things were different "back then". They also told me of the time that they closed it done and how it became a place of drug use and of the homeless. There is nothing greater then to see a full circle of all things. I just hope that I will not have to share the same story of loss to my children. I wish that the City of Worcester or better said the people of Worcester will not let history repeat itself. I long to see the city become all that it is able to be. I call it Woosta, I call it Home!
Comment by: joshua Bigger
what an impressive save! all the more reason for an old forehand & wadswoth fan to come and visit your city!
Comment by: Tim Heaton
I remember well how photogenic this building was, inside and out even before it was renovated. In the early nineties my fellow bandmates ( *cheers* Sheez Late ) did some photo shooting for a debut CD here. Even in its ramshackle state it exuded coolness. The inside was crumbled and even a bit dangerous on the upper floors. The waiting benches were all rotted and smashed, covered with the fallen bits of the upper frescoes and roof, and moss grew everywhere inside. I had moved away to NC in 1995 and I remember what a great treat it was years later when visiting my old bandmates during a Christmas visit to see it restored. It still brings smiles for me.
Comment by: Hugh
Years back when the Union Station was in a shambles, I would drive by and marvel at what was hiding there underneath the crumbled mortar, dirty facade, and weed-infested cracks. I knew that there was a jewel there, just waiting to be unearthed once again. When the renovation finally began, I often drove by and always looked to see how the project was progressing. For weeks I watched the towers go up, and got a lump in my throat as the project neared completion. Now I get to go in there quite often when bringing my daughter there for her train ride back to college in Boston. It's a wonderful piece of history, and as far as I'm concerned - the Jewel of Worcester. Thanks to all for saving this glorious architectural wonder. I smile every time I see it!
Comment by: Tom Kerxhalli
In addition to my recollections of taking the train from Union Station when I was a child,( we never had a car, so our vacations always involved the train or bus) I recall Saturday lunches @ their snack bar when I was 8-10 years old. At the time, my Dad Adrian, worked @ Cornell Dublier in the Osgood Bradley building next to Union Station. In those days before transistors, Cornell was the world's largest manufacturers of condensers used in radios & TV's. They occupied 2 or 3 floors of the building. Occasionally, on Saturday's when my Dad would have some paperwork to catch up, he would bring me along. It was great fun unwinding rejected condensers.... doesn't take much to amuse little kids! My favorite lunch @ Union Station was Cream of Tomato soup with oyster crackers.... top notch!
Comment by: Jerry Madore
I think the renovation of Union Station was one of the best tings Worcester ever did, but the destruction of Washington square is going to be THE worst.
Comment by: Nicholas Cappabianca
All i can say is I remember hanging in the shambles of that place as a kid, and boy was it a mess in there.. What a great job they did! She finally is serving her purpose , its great shes got some justice,all she needed was a makeover and look at her go !!!
Comment by: heidi
The station is beautiful, yes, but it seems always empty. There aren't even people there to sell tickets most of the time you take a train, and the doors are often locked... a monument, but lifeless. It wants use.
Comment by: Sophie
What a pleasant surprise this was. I assumed this old ugly building would have been torn down long ago. It was so rundown it's hard to believe it's now a treasure. Kudos to all concerned.
Comment by: Penny Gould
This renovation was a surprise to me where this towns management has shown little to no respect for its historical buildings, monuments, and forests. The renovation of Union Station was long overdue and the building had laid to waste for many years. The site was almost wiped out in order to make way for the new expressway (rt 290) and it is my understanding that the 290 project was responsible for the demolition of the stations original clock towers and the sale of the stations original stain glass ceiling. It's about time is all I have to say about the renovation of union station and I hope to see other historic buildings renovated in the future.
Comment by: Joseph Aromando
I was born in Worcester in 1948 and I have vivid memories of getting my hair cut as a youth at Union Station. At that time the shop was run by Gene Bolduc and Charley Berber (?). "Uncle" Gene and his wife Min were dear friends of my parents. Gene's only son, Ronnie, was also a barber and ran the shop in Springfield's Union Station. I also had my hair cut there while we lived in Springfield for 2 years. Ron eventually left barbering for the wholesale liquor business. Great job on the renovation project - so glad the building was saved.
Comment by: Neil Curran
I think the city should make the train station much more easily accessible for pedestrians - I walked there for the first time a couple weeks ago (I go to school here) and was shocked at the complete lack of signage for the station, and the fact that it was rather difficult to tell that the place was actually a train station save for the fact that there were trains going back and forth on the viaduct just above it.
Comment by: double d
Oh how I remember, At six o'clock AM one chilly morning in 1943 My sister Mildred took me to the station bound for the U.S.Navy and world war II. If you add A to the security code you have the name of the Ice Breaker that I served on during the Korean War. yes I served in that one too.
Comment by: Norman M. Garfield

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