Lowell Through Time is a visual exploration of how changes in architecture, industry, commerce, demographics and entertainment shape the experience of this riverfront city. The requirements of textile manufactory drove its development, walling off the city proper off from the Merrimack River by a "mile of mills." The southward migration of the textile industry began as far back as the late nineteenth century. Area shopping malls weakened the business district a century later. Other cities in the Commonwealth also suffered economic downturns, but it is arguable that Lowell has rebounded better than most, undergoing a mini-renaissance with a burgeoning university, status as a National Park and a resurrected commercial core. Industrial architecture was finally recognized as a heritage rather than a blight and its destruction halted. Old textile mills, former department stores, fire stations and schools have been recycled. Lowell may now look much the same, but, in many ways, it is not. These photos tell something of that story.
About the Author
ANDREW C. THEOKAS, born and raised in Lowell, has studied urban design at Harvard University and is also the author of Grounds for Review: The Garden Festival in Urban Design.