May 11, 2009
Contact: Phil Lupsiewicz
Lowell National Historical Park 2009 Doors Open Lowell Offerings
Lowell, MA. Doors Open Lowell offers an insider’s look into the preservation of over thirty of Lowell’s magnificent historic buildings. It’s a free event held during National Preservation Month to celebrate Lowell’s architectural heritage and urban living and culture. Together these have made Lowell a creative and exciting place to live and work. In recognition of Doors Open Lowell, Lowell National Historical Park will be actively involved in this year’s offerings. Here is a sampling of the park offerings for Doors Open Lowell weekend.
On Saturday, May 16:
• “Trolley Gathering”: Explore four trolleys as a new Doors Open Lowell experience. From 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, three cars will be lined up along Mack Plaza Trolley Stop at Dutton Street. The fourth will offer rides across downtown from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Hear from the trolley specialists and operators, ride the rails, discover an intriguing and colorful perspective of the City via the trolley system in Lowell.
• Locomotive 410 & Combine Car: Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society members will be doing ongoing preservation work on the combine car. Stop in to see the work that is being done and learn about their past, present and future preservation efforts. 11:00-2:00.
• “Lowell: Then & Now”: Discover efforts to preserve historic buildings in Lowell during this walking tour capturing the before & after of preservation efforts with Park architect Chuck Parrott starting at Boott Cotton Mills Courtyard, 130 John Street. 1:00pm.
• “Views of Lowell” Walking Tour: Join a Lowell NHP park ranger and trace the original route of Lowell's first trolley line on Merrimack Street. Learn about Lowell's downtown commercial district then and now. 2:30pm.
• Experience a visual tour of Lowell's historic canal system and underground water power generation facilities. See the penstocks, turbines and raceways which powered the textile mills in the 19th and early 20th century including some of which continue to be used today generating hydroelectricity. The program looks at these amazing historic resources and traces the contributions of Lowell's 19th century water power engineers who designed and built them. The research and practical experience at Lowell would prove to become the engineering foundation for such larger projects at Niagara Falls and the Hoover Dam. Meet at the Boott Mills Museum Event Center, 115 John Street, 2nd floor at 11:00 am.
• “Gates Open”: View an in-progress canal preservation project at Swamp Locks where the Merrimack Canal control gates are being repaired. Controlling water power was a key to Lowell’s success as a textile manufacturing city. Lowell’s canal system provided power harnessed from the drop along the Merrimack River. Today the intact canal system, recognized as a National Historic Landmark, continues to produce power in the form of hydroelectricity and periodic maintenance projects keep the system running smoothly. 11:00-2:00pm.
• Boott Cotton Mills Museum: Don’t miss the roar of a 1920s weave room with operating power looms! The Boott Cotton Mills Museum includes the weave room plus interactive exhibits and video programs about the Industrial Revolution, labor, and the rise, fall, and rebirth of Lowell. The Museum will be fee-free on Saturday, May 16 at 115 John Street.
• The National Streetcar Museum of Lowell, adjacent to the trolley activities at Mack Plaza, will be fee-free for Saturday, May 16, with informal museum talks. 25 Shattuck Street 11:00-4:00.
In addition, on Sunday, May 17 at 2:30 pm the Park is offering an additional special:
• “Views of Lowell”: This walking tour will explore the historic Acre neighborhood, journey along the newly opened section of the Western Canalway, and conclude at the American Textile History Museum, which is hosting a “soft” reopening of the newly renovated Museum.
For additional information, contact Phil Lupsiewicz at (978) 275-1705, or visit www.doorsopenlowell.org web site for a complete list of events.