Preparations are underway to move the historic Stearns Tavern from its current location at 651 Park Ave in Worcester to its new home at Coes Knife Park, in a uniquely collaborative undertaking. Preservation Worcester, the City of Worcester, several other nonprofits, and dozens of private companies have been contributing to the cause of saving and moving the building so that it can once again serve as a place for community members to meet and work.
Preservation Worcester first got involved with saving the historic building in late 2014 and has coordinated with the City to minimize costs to taxpayers, getting much of the necessary work done through in-kind donations of time and equipment. LPA is one of many local businesses who have provided pro bono services in support of the relocation.
Deborah Packard, Executive Director of Preservation Worcester, said “This is an exciting project that is enhanced by the enormous array of community support and enthusiasm. What could be better than saving the structure from the wrecking ball and giving it new life! That is what historic preservation is all about.”
Once the building has been relocated, which is set to happen in October, ownership will transfer from Preservation Worcester to the City of Worcester, which has partnered with the Seven Hills Foundation. The nonprofit will use the space in support of their workforce development programs for people with disabilities. A café will be managed by clients of Seven Hills, who will gain workforce skills in the food industry. Additionally, grants from the City and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be used to build a multigenerational, universally accessible park adjacent to the Tavern once it has been moved.