The Grand Inhibitor

As a resident of Worcester I truly like to see Worcester thrive.
Unfortunately for us this city can get out of its own way. If it’s not the
mayor, it’s the City Council, if it’s not the City Council it’s the state. It
seems like it is a never ending, but the one constant that seems to get in the
way of many things in this city is the Worcester Preservation Society. Talk
about a group that inhibits progress.

Last week there were two separate stories of properties that the Preservation
Society had been active in, Worcester State Hospital and the Our Lady of Fatima
church. With regards to the Preservation Society, where were they four years
ago when Martin Scorcese wanted to use the sight for his movie “Shutter
Island” and the city and state both said no because it was slated to be
knocked down by the time cameras would begin to roll. That would have brought
business and some notoriety to the city, but the answer was no and Scorcese
took his film to Plymouth and the we got to watch Leonardo DiCaprio on the
sidelines during the NBA finals while the old Worcester State Hospital had been
untouched. Now when it is time for the wrecking ball to come in, the Preservation
Society wants the demolition to stop. Thanks for nothing, that building is
beyond saving.

The Fatima one bugs me the most for a couple of reasons. The first was that
the Worcester Diocese had a buyer for this property a couple of years ago;
however, the buyer had to walk away because Preservation Worcester blocked the
sale because the new owner either wanted to change the integrity of the
building or ultimately raze the building. Let’s face it; there is only so much
you can with a vacant church. So when those options were no longer available to
buyer he walked away. So now a Chinese congregation buys the church and the
Preservationists are happy. That’s wonderful, they don’t have to pay taxes it
on it either which the other buyer was more than willing to do. So the property
went from one tax free entity to another and the preservationists are excited
about it. I should have them pay my property tax and my excise tax to make up
for the lack of funds we get because we can’t do anything with an old building
in the city.

I am excited about the City Square project because I am seeing things get
knocked down. Nothing says progress than “out with the old and in with the
new”. If the Preservation Worcester wants to save the old mill buildings
that used to be home to pre-labor law work conditions and the dehumanizing of
children in the name of history then they need to purchase those buildings and
turn them into museums. If they don’t want to pony up the dough and still be
able to dictate what is going to be done with those properties, I say “GO
TO HELL”. Who are they to tell anybody what to do with their property,
it’s bad enough that property owners have to deal with the bureaucracy that is
known as the City of Worcester, they don’t need a non-profit organization telling
them what to do if they are not providing any incentive to do so.

So in short, my message to Preservation Worcester is; if you want to save
all of these old buildings, then buy them. If not, get out of the way and let progress
happen in Worcester.


Coming Right Atcha

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