Appleton Mills: 2010 and 2011

When I went to the Appleton Mills last night for the “Young Angel Midnight” book party, I was astounded at the incredible appearance of the place, both inside and out. I recalled that just eleven months ago, on November 1, 2010, I saw a very different site when I saw Governor Deval Patrick who was visiting the construction site to check on its progress. The following video starts with photos from 2010 and ends with video from last night. (The background music is a YouTube feature called “audio swap” that I finally tried – it allows you to use music without worrying about copyright issues).


8 Responses to Appleton Mills: 2010 and 2011

  1. kmarcin says:

    At the risk of sounding like a former vice-presidential candidate, I can see this from my house! So I was very surprised Monday night when a city council candidate repeatedly stated that nothing has happened in the JAM area for 10 years and therefore the city should not continue to fund the project.

    Not only is the Appleton Mill project up and running; the Lowell Community Health Center project is underway. At the corner of Middlesex and Summers Streets the owner of the auto repair business has just completed an outstanding update to his building (looks fabulous) and is in the process of another project across the street. The streetscape work on Jackson St. is moving along and beginning to show signs of how inviting that area will be for business and residents. Then there is the National Park pedestrian bridge which is now nicely lit at night (and will one day meet the recently completed and landscaped sidewalk from the transportation terminal).

    Perhaps this city council candidate should take the time for a walk around the area or at least drive down Dutton St. at night. At the very least view this video.

  2. Joe S says:

    I agree with kmarcin – the comments by the candidate were apparently an attempt at negativity to sow discontent with the electorate. Those places that have been completed are really impressive, especially when compared to the landscape of two years ago.

    The follow-on developments are probably behind the original schedule, such as the re-development of the Freudenberg building, as well as one or two others. But we should assign those delays to the very difficult economy, and look forward to further progress in the coming year. If the State holds to its latest plan with the Trial courthouse complex, you can bet others will follow as that area will become prime real estate in the City.

  3. DickH says:

    It had been eleven months since I had been back there and I was simply amazed by the transformation I saw. That was the first time that I truly imagined the potential of the site. And yes, that any progress is being made in this horrible economy is a testament to the project’s long-term viability.

  4. Bob Forrant says:

    walked through that area yesterday with twelve folks from the East-West Institute, a very cool think tank for young folks. Went there because they visited Lowell to see how communities can utilize existing assets from an older economy to build a new one. So, yes there is a lot going on there and they were deeply impressed when we went inside and looked at the before photo of what the mill looked like. Also, making the area very lively are the charter school and the Revolving Museum!

    So somebody needs to get out more with eyes wide open to see this part of the city, which looks better and better by the week.

  5. Corey says:

    Why are we not mentioning who the councilor is? Inquiring minds want to know :-)

    I was at the book kickoff as well, and the crowd turnout was wonderful. I too, can see this project from my house and it’s amazing what just that one additional parcel of life and light has done to improve the pedestrian feel by Lower Locks.

  6. Corey says:

    Whoops, meant Swamp Locks. I’m talking about how it’s now a lot more inviting to walk between Jackson St and Dutton St.

  7. DickH says:

    I was at the candidate forum. I remember the remark being said but do not remember by whom. If anyone does recall, please share the speaker’s name with us.

    Anyone who ventures down Jackson Street will see that progress is clearly being made.

  8. Joe S says:

    The candidate was Ed Kennedy. He referred to nothing being done in the JAM area except for the public garage.

    And to a degree he is correct, as most of the development has been done with public money, or tax credits to private investors, which is basicly public money. The public money should leverage private investment, so hopefully some of that starts flowing into the district.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it will take awhile for the whole area to be completed, with each success being a stepping stone to the next.