College of the Holy Cross is welcoming a new neighbor, with the opening of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center and adjacent Blackstone Gateway Park.
The new Visitor Center officially opened Saturday, Oct. 27, and is an interpretive, recreational and cultural resource serving as a gateway to the City of Worcester and the communities located in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. The grand opening event also celebrated Worcester’s new Blackstone Gateway Park, a scenic and serene half-mile linear park that connects the Visitor Center to the McKeon Road entrance to campus.
Holy Cross is supporting the project with a $25,000 donation in honor of the College’s 175 anniversary. The College has also donated 4,000 square-feet of land for the entrance to the property, and will contribute $135,000 over three years towards the salary of the center’s director.
"College of the Holy Cross is proud to support the Visitor Center and its mission to educate visitors and residents alike," said Fr. Philip L. Boroughs, president of the College. "For 175 years, Holy Cross has grown along with the Blackstone Valley, and we are thankful for the opportunity to contribute to this showcase of its rich history."
The Visitor Center features distinctive architecture and is now the only place in Worcester where the Blackstone Canal is open and visible. The facility features interactive exhibits, reproduction objects, and evocative sculptures within a 4,000-square foot exhibit hall, a 64-seat theater/classroom and events space, as well as compelling outdoor elements on the 6-acre site.
Holy Cross alumnus and State Rep. Dan Donohue '09 was among the elected officials who helped make the project a reality.
"Having lived in the Quinsigamond Village neighborhood all of my life, I have seen our neighborhoods transform through effective partnerships and determination," said Donohue. "We still take pride in our industrial heritage and its place in history as one of the anchors of the Industrial Revolution. The district that is my honor to serve encompasses all of the neighborhoods surrounding the new Visitor Center. My constituents not only look forward to begin using the site and its exhibitions for their own exploration, but they clearly see the economic impact that this Center and its exhibitions will provide in encouraging both our neighbors and tourists to explore and support our region's businesses."
Telegram & Gazette, Oct. 22: Blackstone Heritage Corridor ready to unveil Worcester visitor center
MassLive, Oct. 23: Get a look at Worcester's new Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center that's set to open Saturday