Institute Park is a historic park which dates to the late 1800's and has long been connected to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute campus. Close to downtown, this park was originally an ordinary farm field and pasture. It was donated by the Honorable Stephen Salisbury III in 1887 as a park to supply a green space for the students and citizens of Worcester.
Institute Pond, also known as Salisbury's Pond, is an artificial lake made by the dam on Grove Street. Originally this pond was a mill pond, supplying power to the factory erected in 1834 by Stephen Salisbury II, for the growing wire business of Ichabod Washburn. For many years a handsome bridge connected the park with a small island in the pond. A replica of the Old Mill at Newport, RI, added to the attractiveness of the park.
From its beginnings as a simple pasture, it has been transformed into an ideal city park. Institute Park is one of Worcester's most beautiful parks. It harbors many tranquil moments by those wishing to get away from everyday city life. Institute Park has a multi-purpose field, three lighted tennis courts, two monuments, a bandstand (the Sneiderman Pavilion) which hosts concerts throughout the summer and paths and trails for park goers to enjoy.
Institute Park has a multi-purpose field where you can play different sports at certain times of the year. For example, football is usually played in the fall, whereas soccer uses the field in the spring. Additionally, three tennis courts await those who wish to practice their serve or play a few matches against friends.
Enjoy a relaxing stroll through Institute Park around Salisbury Pond while taking in the beautiful scenery and shady picnic areas and gazebos along the way. Don't forget to bring a picnic; you may even luck out and get to listen to a performance or concert while exploring the surroundings!
The story is told that Stephen Salisbury III was in Boston for business when he saw the Tremont House being demolished. Enamored of the classical Doric columns on the portico, he arranged to buy two of them and had them shipped to Worcester. The gray granite columns were placed at opposite boundaries of the park where they have remained since 1895.
The rose-granite sphere at the top of one is a mystery. The public record is silent on the matter. No spheres are visible in period engravings of the Tremont House. There is no evidence to conclude that there were ever two of them.
View some of the other parks in this district. Get out and explore!
Grant Square is located in the Green Hill neighborhood of Worcester. The park property was acquired in two sections, but after the larger piece was acquired, the two were combined into a single tract for park use. In 2015, the city installed a new playground, a new basketball court and community garden beds.
Fairmont Park is located atop Poet Laureate Hill off of Grove Street. It has a playground, half basketball court and a picnic area. This park also features amazing views of downtown Worcester. In addition, Fairmont Park has an amphitheater and occasionally hosts events.
Worcester’s largest and most diverse park includes a golf course and many sports fields, some lighted. There is a petting zoo, arboretum, ponds and playgrounds. Green Hill Pond, a 30-acre “great pond” is at the center. Multiple gazebos and picnic areas provide areas to relax and take in the view.
Location: 82 Salisbury Street - Map
Size: 44.9 acres
Parking Lot(s): No
Master Plan: View