Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Mass

I came across an article from the November 22, 1922 issue of “The American Architect and Architectural Review” on the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. I’ll reproduce it in three parts over the next few days. Part I:

The Lowell Memorial Auditorium was created by an act of legislature authorizing the City of Lowell to borrow $1,000,000 for a building to be erected in memory of the men and women who had served the country in the various wars of the Union. It is located on a triangular site, with the Concord River on one side, a broad street on the other and a large parking space and street in the rear.

The central feature is the large audience hall which seats 4,000 people. It has rather unusual facilities for a great variety of purposes, as it was intended that this building should be a social center as well as affording halls of audience, consequently, the main floor of the auditorium is level and is placed directly on the ground, so that this level space when cleared of seats can be used for dances or other social purposes, or for exhibitions of heavy machinery, or for banquets, the service of food being from an ample kitchen and service suite in the basement at the rear, access to the hall being from either side of the proscenium through large doors immediately in front of the stage.

Also it was intended that this hall should be suitable for reviews of military bodies. A large door at the rear gives access to the encircling corridor and it was planned that a body of troops could march in at the rear door in columns of four, entering the hall at the left of the stage, passing in front of the stage and out the door at the right, passing out of the building through one side of the large rear archway. Also it was intended to make possible large concerts of choral societies, and in the portion of the hall behind the stage is a large amphitheatre containing several hundred seats with separate entrances and exits from the rear, but all connected to the encircling corridors, this gallery being designed for choruses, and also being suitable for graduation exercises from the public schools.

On the parquet there is a dress circle surrounding the level portion of the floor. These dress circle seats are on an incline and above them is a circular gallery carried out to the line of the level part of the parquet so the hall has a very open, ample effect while accommodating a large audience. (To be continued)