Cleanup of the Draper site began almost as soon as the demolition project started, but this page will mainly show what was done after demolition was completed.

First, a view of what the Draper plant looked like at about its peak. Click on the picture for more aerial views.
Trucking the shop out of town, piece by piece.

The drawing of the Draper plant in 1904 above shows Freedom Street and the lower end of Hopedale Pond at the top. After the water went over the dam and under the road, it is shown in two channels until they join just below the carpenter shop. The picture below isn’t where the water goes now after it goes over the dam. That’s a little to the west of this. This might be the remains of an earlier channel.

Photos of the Draper stack demolition from Kelly Griffin’s video

After the water goes over the dam, (on left in photo above) it goes under the area shown here from mid to right foreground. Then it turns to the right. You can get just a glimpse of it on the left side of the picture below. It then goes under the brick and concrete structures in the middle and right of that picture before tuning again and heading south. I’d say it’s very likely that those are the same turns that are shown in the 1904 drawing further up on this page.


What’s left of the tunnel that once was used in going back and forth between the shop and the main office. You can’t get there from here anymore. Not by the tunnel anyway.

Nothing much could be seen happening on the Draper site during most of January 2022, and the first half of February. Then, as you can see in these photos, work began grinding up the piles of brick.

Oct. 17, 2023

HOPEDALE — It’s been slow going so far in terms of redevelopment of the former Draper Corp. factory site.

Town officials are looking to potentially rezone the property, now a vacant 80-acre lot. The 1.8 million-square-foot Draper Corp. factory building that had occupied the parcel since the mid-1800s was razed two years ago.

Planning Board Chair Stephen Chaplin said in a phone interview that the board is currently looking at making some type of a zoning change. While the panel hasn’t settled on anything, he said there’s opportunity, given the state of the downtown area.

“I think kind of the concept is you have a very beautiful downtown with the Community House and considering the church and the Bancroft Library, and then you have a blank canvas in between that, and the pond,” Chaplin said. “I think there’s a real opportunity there to do something special.”

‘Most successful product’:For decades, Draper Corp. loomed over Hopedale

The Planning Board is looking to rezone the site to mixed use, in order to add housing and commercial components. There are no proposed bylaws or map changes on the docket for Town Meeting. Chaplin said although “the posture” is the same, officials have done a little more conversation regarding the site.