This stately building has graced the main street of a town outside Worcester for more than 130 years and remains in use, a testament to good construction and perhaps the need for space as much as the esteem of its residents, though history is silent on both those last points.
It is not silent on the original purpose of the building, which helped to give it the name by which it is known.
It was built as the headquarters for a fraternal organization then in vogue in the United States, though the organization had its origins elsewhere. That organization had meeting rooms on the upper floors, but the builders were practical enough to realize that ground-floor space could be retail rental space, and that model likely helped this building remain in use and financially viable when some others, perhaps, had fallen to the wrecking ball.
Its style is called Queen Anne, an architectural style that was becoming popular in the 1880s, an era that is frequently called by the name of another queen, Victoria. To most of us, however, all those terms are clearer when applied to domestic architecture, because to see the detail that betrayed the style in buildings that were all business, one would have to stand back and look up: This building’s best detail is several stories above.
Hint: This building was erected in a true mill town.
- Melissa McKeon, Correspondent
See tomorrow’s Telegram & Gazette, and telegram.com, for the answer.