Making Connections: The 40th Anniversary of Lowell National Historical Park

bridge bridge

Left image
Although many of Lowell's mills remained in the 1970s, the Boot Cotton Mills was one of the most intact.
Credit: NPS Photo

Right image
Today, the rehabbed Boott houses apartments, offices, condominiums, and several programs and facilities of the National Park Service.
Credit: NPS Photo

Forty years ago, Congress established a National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts. This exhibition, featuring objects from Lowell National Historical Park’s collection, celebrates the park’s 40th anniversary. These objects enable us to reflect on the past, present, and future of Lowell and the park.

Both the City of Lowell and Lowell National Historical Park thrive on partnerships and connections. The park and its sister organization, the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission have connected Lowell’s historical legacy with local businesses, linking public with private interests, and sponsoring diverse cultural initiatives. The park’s very creation was brought about by a combination of the grassroots efforts of community leaders and committed citizens, the political will of politicians and government officials and the creative energy of business owners and preservation advocates.

One of the park’s goals is to build bridges between people, linking the past and the present and continuing connections into the future. Or, as the park’s enabling legislation states, “to preserve and interpret the nationally significant historical and cultural sites, structures, and districts in Lowell, Massachusetts, for the benefit and inspiration of present and future generations.”
Learn more about highlighted stories about the park below.
  • Postcard of boardinghouse and workers.
    Before the Park

    A group of industrialists, the Boston Associates, began an ambitious project in 1821.

  • The present day boardinghouse behind a green lawn.
    Making the Park

    Discover how city leaders and grassroots organizing led to the preservation of Lowell into an "Urban Cultural Park."

  • Demonstrators operating the weave room.
    Telling the Story

    Telling the human story of the Industrial Revolution and its workers is a central mission of the park.

  • Sculpture of
    Living Lowell

    See how Lowell showcases an array of different cultures, and how this diversity has been embraced for the park's success.

  • Vibrant lights adorn a bridge.
    The Future of the Park

    Discover different interpretations on how to build a vibrant city, and what is important in a community.

  • 136 individuals posing together.
    40th Anniversary Resources

    Discover extra material relating to the 40th Anniversary of Lowell National Historical Park.

Last updated: August 16, 2019

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