Whitney Website 

AO - Southbridge
Main Plant History (Page 2)


AO Main Plant History - Page 1

When C.M.Wells examined the photo of the Main Plant below, here were his comments at that time (June 24, 1937:

"It is probably taken around 1887 or 1888. The building at the left was taken before the Lensdale building was erected.
My recollections are that we started to make lenses in Southbridge in 1886, so the time of taking the photograph was between 1886 and 1891.
I went to work in 1891. The site of the middle building in the photograph is now occupied by the present adminstration building.
In the old building the offices were in the first floor up from the street. Betweent the rows of fences was a ditch"

Workers at that time pictured in front of Building (below)


Cover of AO Life (1930) which shows the Main Plant from across the river

Remaining 1962 Blueprint Of AO Complex (other than main plant)

The Plaques at the Base of the Marble Staircase - April 16, 2002 Update

Pictured below is the 3rd floor of the Main Plant (building 1), where the paneling was being saved by removing from the walls. T
his photo was taken in Dec 1999 and this section no longer exists. It is now a a part of the new Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center.
The windows at front remain, as the front 18 inches of the Mechanic Street Facade, as well as the entire center building with Clock Tower were saved and restored.

Click Here for a Feb 27, 2002 look inside the AO Main Plant Clock Tower

See it now - the new Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center

Link to Main Plant Demolition and Construction photos from year 2000/2001


Dick Whitney

Return to AO History Main Page

Browse to the Southbridge Page

Return to Whitney Home Page