Publication Date



The Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, is part of the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, and is funded by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the University of Massachusetts.


The Usher Plant is located on Arch Street off of Route 2 in Erving, Massachusetts in the center village of the town. The plant is a rich part of the social, economic, and cultural identity of the town and its residents. The Erving Paper Company occupied this plant from 1964 to approximately 1990, when the company consolidated and moved its operations leaving over one-hundred workers either displaced or unemployed and the Usher Plant vacant.

The closing of the Usher Plant approximately 10 years ago has had a tremendous impact on the community residents, as well as Erving's center village merchants who relied on the Usher's workforce to support their businesses. Now 10 years after the Erving Paper Company left the Usher Plant, it still stands vacant~ seemingly abandoned and it continues to decay further into irreversible condition.

The Usher Plant's redevelopment and reuse would be a welcomed alternative to the Erving community leaders and local residents. However complex and substantial challenges need to be dealt with by the town, the plant's owners and potential developers before significant progress can be made.

The Usher Plant could potentially be, as in the past, a functional and integrate part of the Erving community and continue to represent a historically important fabric in the town's character. However, unless redevelopment occurs soon, the cost of redevelopment will undoubtedly increase to a point where saving the structures of the Plant's complex may no longer be a viable alternative, and part of the town's character may be lost.

Erving is located 38 miles north of Springfield, MA and 81 miles northwest of Boston. The town is a rural economic center in Franklin County within the Quabbin region of Massachusetts along Route 2; also know as the "Mohawk Trail". The town's form of government is a select board system with an administrative coordinator and hosts open town meetings


Section 11: Pages 1-59