The Worcester Common Parking Garage is, in some ways, the second incarnation of this site since the demolition of the block that once housed Jerry’s Diner and the General Electric Supply Co.
In 1968, those two businesses fell to the wrecking ball, as did much of the block around it, and several others besides, to make way for the 1,000,000-square-foot Worcester Center Galleria and its parking garage. Urban renewal had come to the heart of downtown Worcester, with two office buildings and a two-story shopping mall featuring major stores and multiple theaters.
The Galleria opened in 1971, but it was an idea that wasn’t to last forever. By 1990, it was 1,000,000 square feet of echo, as stores deserted the city mall for suburban malls and shoppers went elsewhere. Attempts to revitalize it as an outlet mall gave it a few more years of life, but that didn't last either.
Whatever might be happening at the Galleria, the parking garage that was built where Jerry’s used to serve up coffee and pie was put to good use, both by the Centrum (now the DCU Center) and the patrons of businesses surrounding the area, schools and hospitals included, and the businesses that rented the buildings that survived the next wave of urban renewal.
That second wave of urban renewal hit in 2010, and involved demolishing part of the garage as well as the Galleria, creating – or re-creating - streets instead of shopping paths, as part of CitySquare.
- Melissa McKeon, Correspondent
THEN & NOW ARCHIVES