A look back at Institutional Linens, aka the Mason-Winfield vacant lot

Mason-Winfield Lot, Worcester

March 5, 2011. Yes, part of the fence is now missing.

Paulie notes that the T&G will be running an investigative story on the vacant lot on Mason Street this Sunday. I thought I’d collect some photos in one place.

Update: Here’s the T&G article.

Institutional Linens, the industrial laundry that once occupied the lot, was vacant for years by the time I moved to Worcester. One of the neighbors, Catholic Worker Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, painted murals on the boarded-up windows, paying tribute to some noted American peacemakers.

This photo of Scott and his murals was from teresians.org, but is no longer on their site. Murals are MLK, Dorothy Day, Sojourner Truth, Thoreau, and Peter Maurin. Originally blogged at Pie and Coffee.

Demolition Celebrated
On Valentine’s Day 2006, a demolition ceremony was held. City officials made speeches.

At the Institutional Linens demolition party. Left to right: Dennis Hennessy, Director of the City Manager’s Office of Neighborhood Development; Scott Schaeffer-Duffy, then a neighborhood resident for 19 years; Rev. Gene Dyer, then a neighborhood resident for almost 40 years. Photo by Kevin Ksen.

Demolition Executed
Within a week, demolition was done. I posted these photos on February 23, 2006.

Mason-Winfield Lot, Worcester

The bottom, for comparison, is March 5, 2011.

A Tribute to Institutional Linens
Grace Duffy and I imagined Bruce “Snow Ghost” Russell matching wits with Zippy the Pinhead outside the abandoned building.

“Dirty Laundry”

Imagining the Future
Claire Schaeffer-Duffy wrote a history of Mason Court, the cul-de-sac adjacent to her house. The plan for the Mason-Winfield Lot has been a parallel cul-de-sac, just a house or two down from the Court.

Map of upcoming construction on Mason StreetMap of upcoming construction on Mason Street
Construction plans, blogged 2006, still not realized.

Illegal Dumping on a Large Scale
Kevin Ksen, Indymedia, 2007:

This past week the City of Worcester’s Department of Health and Human Services stepped in and shut-down the illegal earthmoving and sandpit operation which Consigli Construction had been conducting on Mason Street.

1 thought on “A look back at Institutional Linens, aka the Mason-Winfield vacant lot

  1. Back in 2007 the Environmental Justice Initiative out of Clark University focused on the Mason Street property because of the clear EJ issues historically involved in the site, as well as the impending demolition and development.

    Everyone has always had a vision for the property that somehow filled their pockets, never one that built our community.

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