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Group Protests Demolition of the Palladium

Friday, July 27, 2012

 

Worcester residents, music lovers, and activists joined together at City Hall to protest the potential demolition of the Palladium, an iconic venue that has hosted acts from national talent to local bands getting their first start. Owner John FIscher has threatened to demolish the landmark venue.

Among those who were involved in the protest were mother and son team, Deb Powers and her son nineteen-year-old son Peyton.

“It’s the end of downtown. It’s an anchor,” she said. “They would be taking away one of the only places in the city for kids and taking away one more reason for our kids to be in Worcester, stay in Worcester, and love Worcester.”

Deb’s son, Peyton started the Prevent the Demolition Facebook page, and the two care a lot about the venue for Worcester and its culture.

“The group is very grassroots and very scattered. I got involved because of my son. He’s a big metal fan, and he has friends who play there,” she said. “I’ve been in Worcester for over 30 years. I love the city. I have watched the downtown deteriorate. I know there are a lot of people who think it’s an ugly building, but I think it’s an incredible part of Worcester’s history. It’s an awesome art deco building and needs help.”

Deb agreed with her son and sees the building as an important part of Worcester’s history. She said she jumped in head first to save the property.

Worcester’s Youth Culture

When asked what it would mean to him if the property were demolished, Peyton said,

“It’s not as much what it means to me as what it means to band culture to people in the city. For a lot of bands, it offers them their first big shot, and that’s not just in Central Mass, it’s all over New England,” he said. “The building is one they grow attached to. It’s a nice, small place to play.”

From Peyton’s point of view, the Palladium is a cornerstone in Worcester’s nightlife and culture.

“People go to Main Street after 5:00 to go to shows at the Palladium. You don’t see huge lines waiting to get into a nightclub,” he said.

Recurring Threats

While some say the Palladium’s owner has made threats in the past to tear down the building due to high costs and need of repair, Deb said she has never seen it escalate this much.

“It’s not even that it would be cheaper, it would probably be more profitable to be a parking lot, and I completely understand that and sympathize with his rights as an owner, but I don’t want to see another building go,” she said, adding that the group pushing to save the building ranges in age from teens to those in their sixties.

“I haven’t seen it blow up this much in the past,” she said. “I haven’t known him to file papers to demolish. Only heard from others that this isn’t the first time he’s toyed with the idea.”

Worcester DJ, Hudson Eakin.

From a Performer’s Stance

Local DJ, Hudson “Wubson” Eakin has played the Palladium, opening for one of the electronic music scene’s biggest names, Rusko.

“Losing the Palladium would be a devastating loss to downtown Worcester and its booming electronic scene. Worcester has a reputation that stretches all over New England for its electronic dance music, in part due to the awesome shows that companies like MASS EDMC and Steeze Promo put on there,” he said. “Losing this venue would cripple Worcester's music scene and nightlife.”

While the local DJ could not speak to the city’s metal scene, which takes claim to much of the venue’s use, he says that many music groups in the city feel the same about the Palladium – it needs to be there.

Eakin also raised the concern that losing the Palladium would not only affect the music scene, but other businesses and restaurants in the downtown.

“As someone who lives in Worcester I'd hate to see it go because of what having big shows like this means for a city,” he said. Bars and restaurants downtown get a lot of business from these shows and it also makes downtown safer because there's more of a reason to go there. I don't think any of the large acts we've been lucky to have would move to the DCU Center because of its much larger capacity. The Palladium makes downtown Worcester a better, safer, more desirable place to visit.”
 

 

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