1884 - Pearl Street - 2012.

Byline: Bronislaus B. Kush


WORCESTER - "Progress" in urban street design usually translates into amenities such as drive-through banking centers and multi-level parking garages, as this recent photograph, top left, of Pearl Street shows.

What a difference from the 1884 photo, bottom left, of the same stretch of roadway, which was published yesterday.

Gone, for example, are the 19th century buildings that once housed the local post office and the quarters for local Masons.

A good portion of the left side of the street is now taken up by a Commerce Bank drive-through and a parking lot. On the opposite side, a lighted parking sign beckons motorists who might be interested in using the municipal parking garage.

Two landmarks, however, remain fixtures.

At the top of the photo sits the former Chestnut Street Congregational Church.

The structure - modeled on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - was designed by noted Worcester architects Stephen Earle and Clellan Fisher.

The building was bought in 2004 by the evangelical Liberty Church. Congregants once again worship in the church and the building through the New England Dream Center, a spinoff of the...

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