Lowell Walks is a series of guided walking tours of downtown Lowell on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. Each tour has a different topic led by a different tour guide. All tours begin at 10:00 A.M. from the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center at 246 Market Street in Lowell.
June 6, 2015 – Preservation Success Stories with Fred Faust – Since the creation of the Lowell National Historical Park, more than 400 buildings in Lowell have been preserved and renovated. See and hear about some of the most noteworthy examples. Fred Faust is the President of The Edge Group, a real estate consulting firm, and was an assistant to US Senator Paul Tsongas.
June 13, 2015 – Lowell Public Art Collection with Paul Marion and Rosemary Noon – In the 1980s, amazing sculptures created by artists with national and international reputations began showing up at locations near the canals in downtown Lowell. Each artwork in its own way is a commentary on one of the themes of Lowell National Historical Park (labor, technology, water-power, capital, and the industrial city). See the sculptures up close, hear about the controversies, and learn the story-behind-the-story of this collection whose commissioning value was about $1 million. Paul Marion is the Executive Director of Community and Cultural Affairs at UMass Lowell; Rosemary Noon is Assistant Director of the Lowell Plan, Inc., and a creative economy consultant. Together, they managed the design selection process and installation of many of the monumental works—and lived to talk about.
June 20, 2015 – Inside Lowell High School with Brian Martin – Founded in 1831, Lowell High School was the nation’s first integrated and co-educational public high school. This tour will explore the interior of Lowell High and will feature stories about many of the school’s most famous graduates. Brian Martin is the Headmaster of Lowell High School and is a former Mayor and City Manager of Lowell.
June 27, 2015 – Literary Lowell and the Pollard Memorial Library with Sean Thibodeau – Visit places in Lowell made famous by Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Jack Kerouac and others and tour the inside of historic Pollard Memorial Library. Sean Thibodeau is the Coordinator of Community Planning at the Pollard Memorial Library.
July 4, 2015 – Independence Day – NO TOUR
July 11, 2015 – The Irish and the Acre with Dave McKean – Learn about Lowell’s first immigrants, the Irish, and see the places where they lived, worked and worshipped. Dave McKean is the Archivist of St. Patrick’s Parish.
July 18, 2015 – Green Lowell with Jay Mason – The city of Lowell and many of its property owners have embraced sustainability. See and learn about some of the most successful “green” design, construction and development practices in downtown. Jay Mason is the principal of Architectural Consulting Services of Lowell and is Chair of the city’s Green Building Commission.
July 25, 2015 – Lowell Folk Festival – NO TOUR
August 1, 2015 – Abolitionists in Lowell with Bob Forrant – Despite cotton being the economic lifeblood of Lowell, the city had a strong anti-slavery abolitionist movement in the decades before the Civil War. Hear about abolitionist rallies and counter-rallies, slave catchers, the Underground Railroad and more. Bob Forrant is a Professor of History at UMass Lowell.
August 8, 2015 – Hamilton Canal District with Craig Thomas, Lowell DPD – The Hamilton Canal District project will re-invent 15 acres of vacant or underutilized land as a new, vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. Walk the site with members of the city’s Department of Planning and Development.
August 15, 2015 – Natural Lowell with Jane Calvin – Bricks and mortar might come to mind when thinking about downtown Lowell, but the city also has some amazing natural places in the central business district. Discover them on this walk. Jane Calvin is the Executive Director of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust
August 22, 2015 – Lowell Artists, Past and Present with Jim Dyment – Lowell has a long history of supporting art and artists. Visit some of the city’s galleries and learn about artists and art festivals past, present and future on this walk. Jim Dyment is the Executive Director of the Brush Gallery & Studios.
August 29, 2015 – Lowell Monuments with Richard Howe – The people of Lowell have always commemorated members of the military, public servants and ethnic groups by erecting monuments around the city. Visit some of the city’s most interesting and intriguing monuments on this walk. Richard Howe is the Register of Deeds of the Middlesex North District and is the official tour guide of Lowell Cemetery.
September 5, 2015 – Trains and Trolleys in Lowell with Chris Hayes – Lowell was a leader in the early railroad industry and also featured a comprehensive streetcar network. On this walk, learn about these and future plans for trolleys and public transportation in the city. Chris Hayes is a transportation planner and is co-author of the “Learning Lowell” blog.
September 12, 2015 – Renewing the Acre with Dave Ouellette – Long the home to successive immigrant groups, in the 1980s the Acre was troubled by crime, drugs and dilapidated buildings. Since then, the neighborhood has been transformed by new and revived housing and businesses with a revived neighborhood spirit. Dave Ouellette is the founder of ACTION (The Acre Coalition To Improve Our Neighborhood).