Vincent Pacifico

Situated at the corner of Tuckerman Street and Salisbury Street on a triangular plot of land stands Worcester’s own, Tuckerman Hall. Formerly known as the Worcester Women’s Club, this building served as the home base for the new organization which was founded in 1880 on the principles of bringing opportunities to women in the fields of education, industrial training, social entertainment, and many more.

In 1898, Stephen Salisbury III donated the plot of land to the organization which helped to kickstart the planning of their building. The building was designed in the Federal Revival Style, and was completed in 1902. The building was named after Salisbury’s grandmother, Elizabeth Tuckerman. The Woman’s Club chose Josephine Wright Chapman as their Architect to design their new building based on her creative design solutions posed by the challenging site conditions and her understanding of the club’s core mission. Chapman was originally from Fitchburg, and later went to Boston to train with the well known Architect, Charles Blackall. She was a true entrepreneur and set up her own firm in the 1890s making her a stunning example of what the Woman’s club believed in. She is one of the country’s first woman Architects. 

The building was designed by using the triangular shape to fit the boundaries of the city block, along with using round towers on all three corners to give the structure a prominent look as to anchor it to the corner block. Even though the building is an irregular shape, the symmetrical facades help to give a sense of traditional form when looked at straight on. The building’s entrances on both Tuckerman Street  and Salisbury Street feature a grand portico and porte cochere with palladian windows above. The exterior facade consists of brick and limestone and has large corbeling around its cornice. The interior spaces feature both grand halls and smaller gathering spaces that are decorated with ornamentation and fine detail which resembles the elegant style of Worcester’s Gilded Age. Tuckerman Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and appears to retain much of its original architectural building fabric.

The building has gone through four major phases of restoration and renovation projects which were completed in 1999, 2005, 2016 and 2023. The projects included interior and exterior improvements and restorations, window replacements, accessibility upgrades and improvements to the building systems including the heating, air conditioning and fire alarm systems. Today, Tuckerman Hall serves as the home of the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra who has owned the building since 1981. The building has also become a very popular venue for concerts, weddings and social events. Even though different uses and functions now take place at Tuckerman Hall, its original mission of serving the public as a venue for people to come together and experience is still alive and well.