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Old 10-24-2018, 04:01 PM   #401
stellarfun
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by BeeLine View Post
Holy Cross is building a new Performing Arts Ctr.

https://www.telegram.com/news/201810...enter-for-arts
The architect is Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:35 PM   #402
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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The architect is Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
That's kind of a big deal, especially for Worcester.

This has probably been discussed at one point, but why do so few "high-profile" architecture firms do projects in Boston? Some of them we can do without, but I feel we're really missing out on them in this gigantic boom we're in the midst of.
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Old 10-25-2018, 11:25 AM   #403
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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I'd disagree. It isn't an unproven conspiracy of the automakers, it is a fact. They simply stopped making trolleys which were firmly established throughout the land. Predatory industry practices occur continuously in an open market. Bigger companies buy up smaller competitors with superior products and then mothball those products. Oracle & IBM are exhibit A in the tech sector over the past 25 years. It happens in every industry.

While there may have been a decline in demand, there was certainly still ample usage, especially by the working poor of the times. What was not foreseen, and where government failed, was envisioning the future where you can longer add capacity to the road system.

The same thing happened with heavy rail. From an efficiency standpoint most hard goods in theory should traverse the country through rail. But the interstate system, the rise of the teamsters' influence and the decline of once powerful rail industry by not adapting to society changes decimated the industry. Thankfully it has stabalized and, I believe is now growing somewhat.
Is it possible that it was just cheaper to use busses instead of trolleys? As in busses have more flexibility to adjust their routes as needed while a trolley can't? Again, it would have been nice if light rail still existed now that city living is hot again, but it was the preference of the population that allowed the evil car-govt industrial complex to do their wicked deeds.

Think of it like this. 40+ years ago people decided they liked Disco and record companies adjusted accordingly. There wasn't a conspiracy to get people to listen to disco, as much as we'd like to think so today. It was just people's preferences at the time. Then Disco was out and everybody threw away their pet rocks, platform shoes and gold ELO albums.

Now 40+ years later lets say it makes a comeback. Yes, you really should have held on to those vintage platform shoes because they're now worth a fortune, but how the hell were you supposed to predict it was going to make a comeback? Same analogy holds with city living/light rail's popularity over time.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:44 PM   #404
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Re: Worcester Improvements

I think the issue here is with the word "conspiracy". As Halcyon points out, companies buy other companies and mothball them if they're competition. It's just the way it works. That's what's proven. What's not proven, and won't be, because it's ridiculous, is that some nefarious international consortium systematically uprooted streetcars for some evil reason. Dont overlook what Rover is saying - capitalism creates a culture that wants something new, and cars and suburbs were new. They were a change, and that's also what America wanted at the time. I see in the more extreme proffering of conspiracy arguments the same anger and paranoia splashed all over today's America, just in this case, the bad guys are the auto industry, bus industry, drivers, etc. Don't discount the human responsibility for everything that happens: the decline of streetcars wasn't crammed down the throats of an unwilling populace; it happened for a reason and fell in line with a zeitgeist that we're probably still too close to in time to fully discern. Not to throw bombs, but if you think that Trump or something like him just "happens" in either a vacuum or only because of the "bad guys", you're missing the fundamental point of how group dynamics work... we all bear responsibility for everything that happens...
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:01 PM   #405
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by FK4 View Post
I think the issue here is with the word "conspiracy". As Halcyon points out, companies buy other companies and mothball them if they're competition. It's just the way it works. That's what's proven. What's not proven, and won't be, because it's ridiculous, is that some nefarious international consortium systematically uprooted streetcars for some evil reason. Dont overlook what Rover is saying - capitalism creates a culture that wants something new, and cars and suburbs were new. They were a change, and that's also what America wanted at the time. I see in the more extreme proffering of conspiracy arguments the same anger and paranoia splashed all over today's America, just in this case, the bad guys are the auto industry, bus industry, drivers, etc. Don't discount the human responsibility for everything that happens: the decline of streetcars wasn't crammed down the throats of an unwilling populace; it happened for a reason and fell in line with a zeitgeist that we're probably still too close to in time to fully discern. Not to throw bombs, but if you think that Trump or something like him just "happens" in either a vacuum or only because of the "bad guys", you're missing the fundamental point of how group dynamics work... we all bear responsibility for everything that happens...
Very well stated.
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Old 10-25-2018, 11:46 PM   #406
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by FK4 View Post
I think the issue here is with the word "conspiracy". As Halcyon points out, companies buy other companies and mothball them if they're competition. It's just the way it works. That's what's proven. What's not proven, and won't be, because it's ridiculous, is that some nefarious international consortium systematically uprooted streetcars for some evil reason. Dont overlook what Rover is saying - capitalism creates a culture that wants something new, and cars and suburbs were new. They were a change, and that's also what America wanted at the time. I see in the more extreme proffering of conspiracy arguments the same anger and paranoia splashed all over today's America, just in this case, the bad guys are the auto industry, bus industry, drivers, etc. Don't discount the human responsibility for everything that happens: the decline of streetcars wasn't crammed down the throats of an unwilling populace; it happened for a reason and fell in line with a zeitgeist that we're probably still too close to in time to fully discern. Not to throw bombs, but if you think that Trump or something like him just "happens" in either a vacuum or only because of the "bad guys", you're missing the fundamental point of how group dynamics work... we all bear responsibility for everything that happens...
Yes. Also - it even happened in Markets (including here) that have no real links to the GM Street Car conspiracy as far as I have ever researched about it - the lines closed here seemed to be directly related to the rise of the car and how much cheaper it was to use buses vs maintain our existing massive street car network.
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:55 AM   #407
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Uhhh...timelines?

Most of Worcester's streetcar system was dismantled in the mid/late-1920's when Worcester Consolidated Street Ry. shit the bed financially. During boom times and "Peak Trolley". It was headed for receivership even before the '29 global crash because the company was such a mismanagement headcase. Its operating costs so extremely higher than its neighbors because of internal inefficiency, and they had no understanding of how to reform those costs. So they got bled dry on the margins even before the main thrust of the Depression-era ridership crash killed their revenue intake. You can neither attribute Worcester's decline to the rise-of-car era nor anti-streetcar attitudes because that system was self-immolating from within while their neighboring systems were seeing greatest successes.

The events encompassed by the "GM Streetcar Conspiracy" were a decade later, spanning 1938-1950. Wartime...and well after the '37 aftershock deepened the Depression. Worcester had some belated bonded-out improvements during the 30's for a new fleet of cars and rebuilt track on the few intracity lines left to stabilize the system, but the wound was already well-infected before the Depression started contracting other systems. The system malingered on till the axe fell in '42 (with 3 years' advance notice, so the last dead-man-walking lines didn't shut until '45)...basically because it was stuck in court-assisted receivership so long from repeated delays in executing the corporate restructuring that it *had* to be kept artificially alive and operating before it could be declared "fixed" and ready for dismantling.


The timeline doesn't fit the narrative. While the actual end dates were similar to the last runs of a lot of local systems in the region, Worcester Consolidated was so messed up it was essentially a terminal case 10 full years before the rest and was too far gone to save even if Wartime nationalization had extended to subsidy of streetcar systems like it temporarily did with mainline RR's. And it was definitely way too fucked up way too early on for the gov't-industrial complex to have started picking modal warfare battles over its hide.
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Old 10-26-2018, 07:52 AM   #408
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Re: Worcester Improvements

I was talking about nationally, but it still applies here, too. If things hadn’t shifted nationally someone else would’ve come in and taken over the streetcar system. Worcester wouldn’t have converted to cars for everyone in a vacuum, and it wouldn’t have had no transportation system for its sizeable population, either.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:14 AM   #409
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Re: Worcester Improvements

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Originally Posted by FK4 View Post
I was talking about nationally, but it still applies here, too. If things hadn’t shifted nationally someone else would’ve come in and taken over the streetcar system. Worcester wouldn’t have converted to cars for everyone in a vacuum, and it wouldn’t have had no transportation system for its sizeable population, either.

In Worcester's case...no, the system wouldn't have survived even if attitudes were different. The company was that far gone that way early for street railways' existential reckoning. There wasn't a bailout big enough to stop the death plunge.


Nationally/regionally I agree with you. But in this one case the local context trumps the national trending in both timeline and severity. WCRy was simply the management headcase-of-headcases; the system's demise ties directly to that well above any other factors (including the Great Depression).
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:39 PM   #410
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Re: Worcester Improvements

Right. I get you. I’m saying that let’s play the dumb what if game and assume cars didn’t take off. Eventually, Worcester would’ve had another streetcar company, unless you think a large American city would have just gone without ANY transit system in an era when that continued (in our hypothetical scenario) to use streetcars as the main way for the public to get around.


The fact that these companies were private and therefore vulnerable to boom bust cycles does show another reason why this mode - as an entity - was potentially and eventually destined for demise.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:49 AM   #411
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Re: Worcester Improvements

I really hope this stadium is bigger capacity than McCoy stadium. I think 12-15k capacity makes sense. I know they are saying 10k but that seems too small for a AAA team.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:20 PM   #412
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Re: Worcester Improvements

The capacity for all of the International League stadiums range from 10,000 (Worcester, Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Durham) to 17,000 (Buffalo). Only 5 out of the 14 current ballparks exceed 11,000 seats. The Pacific Coast League has a few AAA venues under 10,000 with one at 6500 (Tacoma). There may also be picnic and grass areas that will increase actual capacity beyond the 10,000 fixed seats. Worcester should be very proud of a new state of the art complex even if it's capacity is at entry level and it's possible that it will be designed to be expandable in the future.

Last edited by Portlander; 10-31-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:01 AM   #413
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Re: Worcester Improvements

https://www.masslive.com/news/worces...rt_river_index

An interesting article about plans to rehab the former Worcester Boys Club building with some interior shots. Lots of water damage and deteriorating conditions. I wasn’t aware it has a sizable swimming pool as well.
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