Last week, Worcester’s Higgins Armory Museum closed for good.
For 83 years the 4-story, 42,000-square foot building — dedicated to medieval history — has been a Massachusetts landmark. Last year, it drew over 50,000 visitors.
But these are tough times for museums dependent on large gift-giving, and funds that come from endowment portfolios. With a $1.3 million budget, it was time to close the doors.
On hand at the end was Westporter Rindy Higgins. Her grandfather, John Woodman Higgins, founded the museum. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, she said his vision “inspired generations of young men and women, provided a resource for scholars and fascinated people of all ages.”
“Unfortunately, closing the museum means closing the book on an important part of Worcester’s industrial heritage,” said Rindy, a Worcester native, longtime city supporter and lifetime incorporator of the museum. In Westport, she directs the Sherwood Island Nature Center.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. However, Higgins said, it could still be demolished.
“I would hate to see such an innovative place disappear,” she told the newspaper. “It is a landmark site coming into Worcester and dramatic to see on the hill.
“The building itself stands for history and innovation at the same time. I can see my grandfather looking down and saying, ‘Reinvent it.’ Worcester could use a shot in the arm and sparkle there with something that is culturally appealing.”