Editorial: Crompton Place, Jane Jacobs and you

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Crompton Place is one of the feel-good stories in Worcester’s recent past.

In the heart of the Canal District and home to, among others, Crompton Collective, Birch Tree Bread, the Canal District Farmers Market and Seed to Stem, the former home of the Crompton Loom Works is a prime example of the reuse of an industrial building as a destination marketplace in an urban neighborhood.

Crompton Place

Patrick Sargent / For Worcester Sun

Crompton Place

Owner Dino Lorusso purchased the building in 2007 for $1.3 million, according to an article in Worcester Business Journal. “He went to work not only fixing up the building but also fixing his sights on tenants that would help build his vision for mixed-use retail and residential,” the article reads. “Ultimately, he wanted to build up a neighborhood feel that had been a huge part of his childhood.”

It’s the kind of development that would make Jane Jacobs proud.

Jacobs was a journalist and activist who was a champion of community-based urban development. According to one biography, “Her 1961 treatise, [The Death and Life of Great American Cities], became one of the most influential American texts about the inner workings and failings of cities, inspiring generations of urban planners and activists.”

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