Building & Facilities
The Whitin Mill Complex is situated on a 1+ acre parcel abutting the Mumford River and the Ring Shop Dam. It includes five buildings totaling 32,000 square feet.
The Brick Mill
The oldest primary building on the site is the 8,100 square-foot, 4-story Brick Mill. Built in 1826, the Mill is believed to be one of the earliest cotton mills erected in New England, and is considered by the National Park Service to be one of the finest examples of original, undisturbed Federalist architecture in the country. The Mill is on the State Register of Historic Places.
Today, this building is home to artisan studio space and three, two bedroom apartments for people Alternatives serves with developmental disabilities. Counselors help the residents connect with neighborhood services, enjoy recreational opportunities and build relationships in the community. The individuals who live in the Brick Mill apartments regularly participate in events happening at the Mill.
Future plans for the building include the addition of a museum that will educate the public about the Blackstone Valley’s rich industrial heritage and modern uses of historic technologies.
Originally built in 1782 with a reconstruction in 1875, the 900 square-foot Forge is a unique highlight of the property that, with the Brick Mill, will be part of a future museum. It is a historically pristine structure and is on the State Register of Historic Places.
The Workshop Building, 50 Douglas Road
Constructed in 1905, this 9,500 square-foot building is now home to Alternatives’ administrative headquarters. The first floor contains the Aldrich Heritage Gallery, an art gallery named for Spaulding R. Aldrich, a long-time supporter and friend of the organization. It features an ongoing and ever changing variety of historic, artistic, and educational exhibits for visitors to enjoy.
Performance Center and Training Facility, 60 Douglas Road
This 9,000 square-foot multi-use facility includes space for the performing arts, community gatherings, and ongoing professional development. The first floor of this building houses an Alternatives Employment Program that provides job skills training and employment services for approximately twenty-five people with developmental disabilities. The first floor also has space designated for future development of a riverfront restaurant. The GB & Lexi Singh Performance Center, a state of the art, multi-use performance, training, conference center, and community events venue is located on the second floor.
The Center is a flexible space suitable for theater, concerts, trainings, professional conferences, and other community uses. It enables Alternatives to fulfill its commitment to provide close to 20,000 training hours per year to its dedicated workforce.
The Office Building, 70 Douglas Road
Constructed in 1944, this 5,200 square-foot two-story brick building is the newest building in the complex. The first floor is used for program offices. The downstairs is home to some of the Whitin Mill’s resident artists.
Our 4,000 square-foot Community Plaza, overlooking the Mumford River, serves as a centerpiece for the site and is an outstanding community events venue. The plaza is open to the public and typically has a full schedule of events including Alternatives’ annual Valley Friendship Tour (Alternatives signature fundraiser), the free Summer Concert Series, the annual Valley Bag Toss, and the Worcester Shakespeare Company’s summer play festival.