Join us in learning more about ArtsWorcester’s new home, the Printers Building. In part two of a two-part series, Get to Know the Printers Building, we look at our new neighbors in the building and its surroundings.
The Printers Building Today
Over the decades, the printing businesses on Portland Street consolidated, closed down, or moved out, leaving Davis Publications as the sole printer in the Printers Building Trust. Davis Publications is now the nation’s foremost publisher of art educational materials: textbooks, School Arts Magazine, and digital resources. Today, their actual printing is done off-site, but planning and design all take place on the third floor. Unlike many cases of historic buildings, the Printers Building has never changed owners, so little alteration has occurred. The Printers Building that we see today maintains much of the historical integrity that it did in 1923.
In addition to Davis Publications, the Printers Building now houses multiple other creative businesses. NPR jazz affiliate WICN is ArtsWorcester’s new neighbor on the first floor. On the sixth floor, maker space Technocopia offers memberships that include shared creative spaces as well as access to a long list of tools. The Worcester Cleantech Incubator (WCTI) facilitates the startup of local businesses. Crocodile River Music supports African art and artists throughout New England. The Worcester Bookkeeping Cooperative provides bookkeeping services to nonprofits, including ArtsWorcester, and small businesses. Davis Publications operates the Davis Art Gallery, another space for local artists to exhibit their work. Two times a year, ArtsWorcester will exhibit member work at the Davis Gallery. The tenants of the Printers Building exhibit a commitment to creativity, industry, and education. Harkening back to Worcester’s early industrial days when small businesses gathered together in shared buildings, a spirit of collaboration is returning to the Printers Building. ArtsWorcester aims to collaborate with organizations in the building just as its original tenants once did.
Our New Neighborhood
Like the building itself, the neighborhood around the Printers Building is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The nearby Hanover Theatre hosts world-class performances and touring companies, and recently opened their Conservatory for Performing Arts. The Hanover also houses one of ArtsWorcester’s satellite exhibition spaces, the Franklin Square Salon Gallery. Immediately adjacent to the Printers Building are apartment buildings and eateries that make up part of the Grid District, a community redevelopment project bringing housing and entertainment options to the area. Down Portland Street is the Worcester Common, which regularly holds outdoor markets, performances, and other family-friendly events. This proliferation of new development and cultural organizations downtown will soon allow visitors to see a show at the Hanover, grab dinner and drinks at one of many restaurants, and take in an ArtsWorcester exhibition all in one day.
This post is the second of two about our new home, the Printers Building. Read Part One here. We hope you have enjoyed this series.
This post is part of a series written and researched by Alice Dillon, ArtsWorcester Program Staff.