City of Worcester Unveils Reimagined Francis R. Carroll Plaza

July 20, 2023

On July 19th, 2023, the City of Worcester and The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts hosted a ribbon cutting and rededication ceremony for the redesigned Francis R. Carroll Plaza and Bank of America Stage. This project has transformed Federal Square into a vibrant, active, and walkable urban corridor for both residents and visitors of the City.   

The plaza is aptly named after Francis R. Carroll, a prominent figure who continues to play an active role as an advocate, humanitarian, and philanthropist for the City. Called a “true son of Worcester” by Mayor Joseph M. Petty, Worcester native and U.S. Navy Korean War Veteran Carroll has generously invested millions towards renovating various buildings in the Federal Square area, where the plaza proudly stands. His contributions were instrumental in the transformation of The Hanover Theatre into the thriving venue it is today.

BETA Group, Inc. (BETA) collaborated with the Planning and Special Projects Divisions of the City’s Economic Development Department, the Department of Public Works, The Hanover Theatre, and the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) to reimagine and expand the plaza. The upgrades include vibrant new plantings, captivating festoon lights, a comfortable seating area, and a raised performance stage, purposefully designed to host outdoor performances and community events. The plaza also features a new art installation that enhances the City’s commitment to public art and will add interest to the space by being lit up at night.

Mayor Petty envisions that the plaza will foster stronger community connections stating, “These shared spaces, parks and plazas, libraries, and neighborhood restaurants are imperative to the vitality of our City. This will be a space for musical or dance performances where workers can enjoy a meal, and where neighbors can forge lasting friendships.”

The plaza’s revitalization is part of a broader $11 million project aimed at fully reconstructing and reimagining Main Street—a venture that BETA has been involved in since 2013. Completed in 2021, the realignment of the intersection in front of The Hanover Theatre not only improves traffic flow and pedestrian safety, but also played a crucial role in making the expansion and redesign of Carroll Plaza possible.

The Francis R. Carroll Plaza now serves as a vibrant focal point in the Downtown area. The transformation has created an inviting space for residents and visitors to come together and enjoy a wide array of cultural experiences while breathing new life into the City and serving as a catalyst for future economic development.