Save the Clock Tower

As reported in the Telegram (again), the Worcester State Hospital

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Clock Tower is scheduled for demolition between Spring and Summer 2012.

From the Environmental Notification Form:

As discussed in greater detail in the Historical and Archaeological Resources section below, the Reuse Study concluded that reuse and redevelopment of the Clock Tower is not financially feasible. Therefore, DCAM and DMH propose demolishing the Clock Tower.

The project involves the demolition of the Worcester State Hospital Clock Tower, a portion of a property listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In response to a Part 1 Historic Preservation Certification Application for the Clock Tower, the National Park Service determined that the Clock Tower does not qualify as a “certified historic structure” for the purposes of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Appendix G). Citing the demolition activities that occurred following the 1991 fire, and those associated with the development of the new hospital facility, the NPS concluded that the Clock Tower, and the Worcester State Hospital campus as listed in the National Register in 1980, no longer retains architectural integrity. Despite the NPS determination that the Clock Tower and the Worcester State Hospital no longer retain architectural integrity, they continue to be listed in the National Register.

If you’re interested in Preservation Worcester’s attempts to save the clock tower, you should follow this Facebook group.

There’s more information on the Kirkbride buildings blog (1, 2), which also points us to this excellent photoset of the 1991 fire (without which I think we’d be having a different discussion about the preservation of the clock tower).

More pictures on tumblr (1, 2) and flickr.

(Photo: Worcester State Hospital, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licensed image from Elizabeth Thomsen’s photostream.)

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