Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.
COLUMN: THEN AND NOW
WORCESTER - The federal courthouse takes center stage in the top left photo, taken at Franklin Square, the intersection of Southbridge and Main streets. The neighborhood has become a focal point in downtown revitalization efforts, kicked off in the past few years by the multimillion-dollar renovation of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, which saw an early 20th-century structure brought back to its former glory after it had been altered to serve as a movie theater.
More recently, the neighborhood became the centerpiece of a new plan being mulled over to create a downtown theater district, replete with pedestrian-friendly alleyways, restaurants, and blocked-off streets. The plan also calls for repurposing the old Telegram & Gazette building at Franklin and Federal streets into a downtown satellite campus for a local college. A proposal in the plan for an ice hockey arena a few blocks over at the municipal parking lot next to where the library now sits has not been universally well-received.
But unloved buildings are nothing new to the neighborhood; the old flatiron building was torn down...