Thanks to Dick for his report on planning guru Frank Keefe’s nutshell version of the Lowell revitalization story and success recipe. Bill Lipchitz’s comment about the Center City Committee being formed in 1972 added a key benchmark. Since he was there, maybe Bill can clarify the connection between the CCC (still active) and the now-dissolved Human Services Corporation (HSC), established by Pat Mogan and friends in 1971. Frank Keefe credited the CCC with getting everyone around a big table for the first time. I assume, though, that CCC was not incorporated as a nonprofit organization until later. This may explain why the Human Services Corporation was the recipient of crucial early funding from the New England Regional Commission and Community Development Block Grant program between 1972 and 1979 that paid for so much of the planning work that went into the early development of the “urban cultural park” and later “historical park” project.
The Human Services Corporation, which disbanded around the time that the Greater Lowell Community Foundation was established, evolved from the work of Pat Mogan and company in the Lowell Model Cities Education Component and its community outreach group, the Acre Model Neighborhood Organization (AMNO). HSC’s purpose was to create and support “concrete economic and social programs that would instill a sense of hope and determination in area residents.” Anyone who is interested can read more about the history of HSC in an essay I wrote for an exhibit at the Mogan Cultural Center in 1991. The exhibit brochure is on the UMass Lowell Center for Lowell History website. Read it here.