Photo by Joe Santa Maria

Groups of people enjoying an outdoor movie on the Worcester Common as the sun sets
Photo by Erika Sidor

Downtown Worcester

Downtown Worcester is a district full of history and character. History buffs will appreciate the significance of the many monuments and statues that adorn Downtown. For generations, the Worcester Oval behind City Hall has been a place for city celebrations and public gatherings, but it is best known for the 12,000 sq. foot public ice-skating rink that is set up every winter. The twinkling holiday lights and crowds of skaters make the Oval a magical place to be during wintertime. Recently, the Oval made its big screen debut in the Lifetime movie, Christmas on Ice.

The Burnside Fountain

Turtle Boy, as it is nicknamed by locals, was commissioned in 1905 as a park fountain that provided freshwater to city residents, dogs, and horses. Today, the statue is one of the most well-known and beloved symbols of Downtown Worcester.

Bronze statue of a boy riding on the backside of a turtle
A green statue of a boy swimming alongside a dolphin

The Boy with a Dolphin

The Boy with a Dolphin statue is another piece of public art that has been defining Downtown for decades. Commissioned in 1974 by famed British sculptor David Wynne, this sculpture appears gravity defining as a young boy catches a ride on a dolphin. Check out this masterpiece at the Chestnut Place courtyard.

War Memorials

Along with incredible, in-the-round sculptures, Downtown also has four war memorials that pay homage to the dedication and sacrifice of Worcester residents. The Soldier’s Memorial was built in 1874 and honors the 4,000 men who represented the Union during the Civil War. Downtown’s World War II memorial is also a beautiful piece of public art with 78 water features that filter through the engraved granite. In 1993, the Southwest Asia War Memorial was created to pay tribute to those who perished in the Desert Shield/Desert Storm Conflict.

Civil War Monument featuring heroes from various military branches

The Central Massachusetts Korean War Memorial is an impressive piece of art and a meaningful memorial. It features a life-sized statue of an American soldier as well as a Korean child, representing thousands of children who were orphaned in Korea and saved by American soldiers. In addition to the striking statues and the black granite wall inscribed with soldiers’ names from the Korean war, there is also an engraved brick walkway that allows city goers to see the names of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan, the Gulf, Iraq, and Pakistan.

Night time scene of the streets surrounding Union Station. Car headlights and street lamps shining bright
Photo by Caio Cesar Gutierres

Union Station

Not just an architectural marvel, Union Station is a vital transportation hub for the entire city. Built in 1911, the train station was crafted in the French Renaissance style. This building features two massive marble towers, granite floors, and ornate filigree details. Worthy of a photoshoot or movie set, Union Station preserves the past while updating transportation services for the city’s growing future. In addition to a train, visitors can also catch a taxi or bus from the station.