Five Senses: One Worcester

Sight: The Heywood Boot and Shoe Co. Factory

by on Mar.01, 2013, under Uncategorized

The Heywood Boot and Shoe Company factory is not what it used to be.  During the late 19th century and early 20th century stood a brick building that housed a vibrant and bustling factory that produced hundreds of upscale boots and shoes a day. Now all that stands on is a quiet five-story building that houses a few small businesses.  The brick on the lower part of the factory is pink and rundown.  The mortar between each brick is slowly chipping away and the bricks are wearing out.  This starkly contrasts the clean red bricks of the upper stories of the building.  The red bricks of the upper stories are neatly stacked and look like they may have been added just yesterday.

*The first picture is of the Heywood Boot and Shoe Co. Factory in 1879.  The second picture is what the former factory building looks like now.*

Where the pink and red bricks meet is a disappearing, painted sign that is barely visible.  When looked closely at, I can make out the letters and realize what it spells: Heywood Boot and Shoe Co.  That sign is the only one left on the building that indicates it’s past.  Now the flat signs of the Go Bare Spa, Evolve Haircuts, and Infodiligo hang lifelessly on the brick.  The windows of the building, too, appear tired.  The windows, the sad eyes of the building, allow passersby to peer into the building and see it’s empty soul.  None of the windows even give a hint that there could be people stirring inside them.  The windows at the ground level are boarded up with tan plywood and gated with a red metallic material that crisscrosses and is slightly brighter than the rundown pink bricks.  Half of these windows are broken and the jagged pieces of many windows remain next to them.  One window, slightly above the ground level windows, shows a boarded up room with a garbage pail and yellow mop bucket.  The lifelessness of the building gives off a sad yet eerie feeling.  It’s so cold. So empty.  So alone.

As I turn around and take a closer look at the other buildings that surround the old Heywood Boot and Shoe Company factory I realize one thing: all the other buildings around here are just as dead and lifeless as this one.  Chipped brick buildings, broken windows, and rusted gates compose this dreary landscape.  The whole area is empty and it is not until I have been exploring the area for fifteen minutes that I finally encounter a Worcesterite.  He walks into a nearby parking lot down the block, gets in his car, and drives off.  The Heywood Boot and Shoe Company factory does not appear to have many visitors anymore, and this one is taking the shoes he’s in and walking home.

*This picture shows the view from across the street of the building.*


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