Lowell

Smuttynose

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A couple years ago I posted this update on Lowell - http://www.archboston.org/community/showthread.php?t=4639

This is just a quick update of some changes since then. Nothing earth-shattering, but a couple interesting things --

Most of the main streets in Downtown Lowell have been converted to two-way from one-ways.

2013
DSCN1255 by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

This mill on Lawrence Street is being converted to housing. It was vacant in 2013.

2013


2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

The mill in the foreground (Counting House Mill) has been converted to apartments. It's an awesome little building, very narrow but it's so long it's almost impossible to photograph.

2013
DSCN1303 by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2013
DSCN1217 by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

This building, immediately across from the just renovated Cotton House Lofts has not been renovated, but there is at least a sign now up promising it will be in 2017.

2013
DSCN1220 by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Renovations to this building have been completed. It's currently used as offices for UMASS Lowell

2013
DSCN1014 by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2013
DSCN1008 by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

The areas that have probably changed the most surround the UMASS Lowell campus which has grown significantly. This was an abandoned hospital; it was bought by the university and is now the student center (Credit: EMW).

2011


2015
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Here's just a few random photos from around the City

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Looking north from Market St.
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Merrimack Riverfront
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Pawtucket Falls
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Canal Walk
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Alley behind Dutton St.
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Dutton St.
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

There has not been much activity in the Hamilton Canal District area in the last 2-3 years.
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Some cool ruins
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Folk Festival
Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

There are some cool slightly hipster-centric businesses that have opened relatively recently Downtown.

Unchartered Gallery, Gallery+Bar+Pizza

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Mill No. 5 - Assortment of businesses including movie theater

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Untitled by mbconnors24, on Flickr

Thanks for taking a peak.
 
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stefal

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As people here have previously stated, Lowell is greatly improving when you compare it from 10 years ago. These renovations are interesting and different. It might be cool if they constructed one or two brand new modern buildings with high quality materials just to give a little contrast and variety. Especially in this area :
(great picture, by the way)
Something like that UMASS Lowell Student Center would be nice, IMO.
 

FK4

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

Really nice pics and I remember the last set from before, too. Unfortunate about Hamilton but someone will pick up that project sooner or later. Mill No. 5 looks awesome. Im also glad to hear about the one way street to two way conversions, since that made navigating downtown completely impossible for someone who wasnt from there...
 

itchy

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

Thanks, Smuttynose. I remember being absolutely transfixed by your previous installment a few years ago. Really enjoyed seeing the update and looking forward to more to come. For a place that had about as crummy a reputation as you could get when I was a kid, Lowell has some amazing-looking places these days, and the trajectory appears to be an upward one with plenty of great old buildings remaining to rehab.
 

itchy

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

BTW, did UMass-Lowell effectively demo the old hospital?

It looks like it (even if they retained some structural elements, looks like none of the masonry remains - is that right?). That's the one picture that's a bit of a shame. The old masonry walls of the hospital actually look pretty nice (in a 1930s Catholic school/rectory/priests nursing home kind of way) and could've been a cool residential/office conversion.

The glass building is about as "2012 generic" as it gets ... and somehow it looks pretty cheap despite the fact the state surely wasn't skimping (given the university admins were "only" spending other people's tax dollars) and Perkins + Will is a fairly blue-chip firm.
 

Randomgear

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

166 Central St (a small four story block) has just finished being renovated. I'll try to get pics of the reno'd building soon. It's 75% occupied with an adult day care center as the tenant. The fourth floor, great views and skylights is still available.

Before renovation:
 

Smuttynose

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

$40M, 240-unit apartment building proposed in Lowell

LOWELL -- A six-story, 240-unit apartment building has been proposed for vacant land off Wellman Street along the Lowell Connector.

An attorney for the project, George Theodorou, said it would be the largest market-rate residential development in the city's history. The $40 million project would include a connected parking structure with more than 400 parking spaces.

"This is such an exciting project," Theodorou said.

Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_29669579/40m-240-unit-apartment-complex-proposed-lowell#ixzz43prJHdQD
 

Smuttynose

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Smuttynose

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

The renovation of the Picker Building in Lowell is finally underway. In the photo below, this is the taller building in the background that's in terrible shape. The building in front of it will be stabilized as part of the development, but not yet renovated. These are among the very last un-rehabilitated mills left in Downtown Lowell.

2011


The building was literally crumbling in on itself, so it's a good thing. It's an odd location, completely off and hidden from the main road and totally hemmed in by other mill buildings. I took the following photos last week:







 

Smuttynose

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

The Old 1876 Boston and Maine Train Depot in Downtown Lowell, once on the verge of demolition before being rescued by the National Park Service, is being retrofitted to house a new performing arts center for Middlesex Community College. The building will house an egg shaped theater, music recital hall, and dance studio all within the 1876 brick shell. It should be completed late this year. Renderings by LEERS WEINZAPFEL ASSOCIATES.





Brief video on the project here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-yc7W_1pGY&feature=player_embedded
 

reverend_paco

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

The renovation of the Picker Building in Lowell is finally underway. In the photo below, this is the taller building in the background that's in terrible shape. The building in front of it will be stabilized as part of the development, but not yet renovated. These are among the very last un-rehabilitated mills left in Downtown Lowell.

2011


The building was literally crumbling in on itself, so it's a good thing. It's an odd location, completely off and hidden from the main road and totally hemmed in by other mill buildings. I took the following photos last week:








Do you have any idea who is responsible for the rennovation? I think this is slightly outside the Hamilton Canal district.
 

reverend_paco

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

Do you have any idea who is responsible for the rennovation? I think this is slightly outside the Hamilton Canal district.
Ahhh this is by Bridge Street and across the concord river from the theater. Good find. I remember there being some extreme remediation problems with chemical spillage on that property.
 

bolehboleh

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

That sucks. I was looking forward to taking the trolley around the city. I think it would have helped to raised the property values and spur some more development in the area of the rail. Oh well.
 

Arlington

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Re: Lowell 2015 update

That sucks. I was looking forward to taking the trolley around the city. I think it would have helped to raised the property values and spur some more development in the area of the rail. Oh well.
I agree. At some point these cities need to do more to place bets on themselves using TIF financing of transit. Where (to which part of the Lowell City budget) are all the new taxes on these lofts going? Maybe its already spent on paving and striping?

The streetcars are a very minimal system (simple tracks, simple signals, simple power supply). and mostly on dedicated ROW too--precisely the kind of thing that gets a Small Starts grant or even self-funded.
 

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