Monday, September 13, 2010

Worcester Galleria Demolition - City Square Ground Breaking

This is my first Wormtown Fleet post. Some explanation is in order, for those of you who don't follow Worcester bloggers...

Though Worcester MA is the second largest city in New England, in many ways, both good and bad, it is a small place.

One of the good ways is the blogging community, in which I am privileged to find myself included. I mostly post about flowers and my flower business, but from time to time I do blog about my city, as it's important to connect what happens there with what happens to my business.


One of the best Worcester bloggers is Jeff Barnard, AKA Wormtown Taxi. He is smart, witty, thoughtful, prolific, and calls BS when he sees it.

He's also dying from cancer. Which really sucks.

I've been lucky enough to meet him a couple times in person, and been mentioned in his blog. It completely took me by surprise how attached I became to him through his writing - I mean he's part of my morning routine!

And he's one of the reasons I blog. Yes, feel free to thank him...I had a light bulb moment where I realized that the on line content I kept returning to was the stuff that was updated and changed regularly, and that was the purview of bloggers. Jeff's blog is still one of the ones I turn to, wait for, count on.

But it's a lot to ask of guy to keep on blogging when his energy is sapped. So Worcester blogger Nicole suggested that some of us try to fill the gaps where we can, take a wee bit of Worcester off Jeff's shoulders, so he isn't burdened with worrying about keeping the pace he used to.

Hence - The Wormtown Fleet.

Here we go - community!

Today was the eagerly awaited demolition of the old Galleria shopping mall, here in the heart of downtown Worcester. Long considered the root cause of the death of a once vibrant downtown, it was not dissimilar to the vision many cities had at the time. We learn from our mistakes and move on.

Today was a day of moving on.

Pretty silver sledge hammers all in a row.

Imagine all of Worcester's pols swinging these all at once!

City Manager O'Brien, holds the attention of the crowd.

Lieutenant Governor Murray addresses the crowd - even construction workers paused.

Good view from the garage that's NOT getting torn down!

Happy, cheering Unum employees who will be the first to move into City Square. Their tenancy triggered the release of public funds to get the private/ public partnership ball rolling, or wrecking ball swinging.

Faces of the crowd reflected in the glass of the old mall's doors.

Allow me a moment to be wistful here for the old Galleria. Besides being a refuge in bad weather while waiting for those once an hour buses I was always waiting for, a place I worked one holiday season, the place I got my first apartment furnishings (still have that bookcase from Brian Alden), it's the reason I'm here - in Worcester. My father got a job at the Mechanics Bank tower part of the mall and we moved to the Worcester 'burbs from Watertown MA in 1971. You can thank the mall if you're glad I landed here. I do.

Here it is, what you all have been waiting for! Yes, that gray smudge.

The hole gets a little bigger...

The hole gets a little bigger still. So, that's why the orange shirted construction guy was paying rapt attention to the speeches! The demo was done with a jackhammer from the inside!

No Vegas style implosion, but what did you expect really?

Unused silver sledge hammers - I was so looking forward to pics of pols swinging.

The vision of vibrant city streets where the concrete monolith stands.

And the blogging inspiration - Jeff Barnard, AKA Wormtown Taxi, assuming the viewing position, soon followed by the blogging position!

It's an honor to be included in the fleet.


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