If you’re on the hunt for an educationally compelling afternoon with pals, or even some alone time, check out Worcester Art Museum, a downtown gem featuing exhibitions from around the globe across five millennia. From there, take another moment of pause to admire Trinity Lutheran Church, a beautiful structure (pictured above) by architect Jens Fredrick Larson 70 years ago. A spectacular set of ceiling panels painted by Arthur Covey depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Covey was an American artist and noted muralist from Connecticut. He spent a year and a half painting 128 panels for his expansive and breathtaking work of art.
To step even further back in time, head to Salisbury Mansion, the city’s only historic house museum which shares the Worcester’s volution to becoming an industrial giant. When built in 1772, this Georgian-style building was both residence and store for the young merchant Stephen Salisbury I, the district’s namesake. Hear the stories of Worcester and the impact of three generations of Salisburys, from the first American Revolution to the Blackstone Canal. Behind the city’s mid-century industrial prowess and the formation of institutions such as the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester Art Museum and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are remarkable stories of courage, risk and heartwarming generosity.
All this exploration will certainly leave you hungry for more—and for a meal, or a shopping. Several spots on Highland Street offer the nourishment you'll need, from the Sole Proprietor seafood to a coffee and sweet treat at Bean Counter Bakery Cafe. Maria's Modern Muse, a thrift shop, offers eclectic finds you likely won't see anywhere else.
Anchoring the Salisbury Cultural District is Institute Park, a nature-scape that’s home to several species of birds and a locale to relax, picnic, walk the boardwalk of Salisbury Pond or enjoy one of the many annual cultural celebrations or musical entertainment.
If you love to shop at one-of-a-kind stores, check out The Gallery Store at the Worcester Center for Crafts, a fabulously curated collection of crafts made by artists across the country. Founded in 1856, the center acted as a place to teach immigrants skills to create marketable crafts.
Walking south on Grove Street, you can’t miss the 500-foot-long façade of the restored mill complex known as Northworks, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over 150 years ago, Washburn & Moen manufacturers made telegraph wire, piano wire and wire for hoop skirts. By the late 1870s, the company employed more than 3,000 workers at its two locations, the North- and Southworks, making it Worcester’s largest employer.
Up next, Tuckerman Hall, a grand neoclassical structure designed by Josephine Wright Chapman, one of America’s first female architects. Completed in 1902, this structure was originally the headquarters of the Worcester Woman’s Club, which focused on women’s rights, and later, on health and education programs in support of the Worcester community. Stephen Salisbury III donated the site and, in tribute, the Woman’s Club named its principal auditorium Tuckerman Hall in honor of his grandmother, Elizabeth Tuckerman Salisbury.
And if you’re on the lookout for more: Wrap the day back in the realm you started: art. A self-guided tour of the POW! WOW! murals around town will prove the powers of public art.
If you like what you've seen, you'll want to experience the tour in person with our Visit Widget, complete with mobile exclusives like augmented reality, and more detailed descriptions about each stop along the way. If you're hungry for even more history, we invite you to Meet the trailblazers in the Salisbury Cultural District. This trail gets personal, highlighting historic figures in the local community with an emphasis on their lasting impact. Share your experience with us on social by tagging @DiscoverCentralMA and @salisburyculturaldistrict on Instagram.