New Bedford Historical ‘Palace’ Now an Important Resource
We know the SouthCoast is rich with history but the best is when we re-purpose some of these historical houses into a much-needed resource.
If you grew up on the SouthCoast and even if you didn't you may have driven by this pink palace which was built in the early 1800s.
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1805. “Gilbert Russell House.” This palatial pink palace was originally a Federal style home, built by Russell, a New Bedford whaling merchant. A later owner, Dr. Edward Abbe, a noted surgeon, added the mansard roof and other non-Federal details. He owned the house from 1868 until his death in 1897. The house was later a convent, a school, and today is the home of the Women’s Center, a shelter and resource center for victims of domestic violence. No word on who painted it pink! The Women's Center website (www.thewomenscentersc.com) describes that it “provides free and confidential 24-hour easily accessible services to those in need. We provide counseling, education, outreach, referrals and resources. We may be called the Women's center, but we serve men and children as well. With over 40 years of experience, The Women's Center is the preeminent organization in the region offering comprehensive FREE and confidential services to ALL survivors and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child trauma.” Please see their website or my Insta stories for how to donate to this important cause.
The home has been owned by some pretty influential people, first a whaling merchant and then a doctor. It was later converted into a convent, a school and now it is a resource and safe space for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child trauma.
In a time where many people are working and learning from home, these types of scenarios are a little more common than ever before and a place like The Women's Center has become an important resource. I had to share this as a reminder for anyone who may be reading this and in need of someone to speak to or a place to escape.
The Women's Center is an amazing resource and a pretty unique building in our area. What was once known as a palace or New Bedford castle is now a safe place for women in need. While I wish we didn't need it, I'm glad it's here.