Manchester, N.H.

The mill cities along the Merrimack River should promote themselves in clusters like the Civil War sites in the South. Why can’t our region become a multi-day destination for visitors the way heritage sites or natural attractions in other parts of the country present themselves? Manchester, New Hampshire, looks good these days. The downtown has a busy urban feeling on Elm Street. There are more than 30 restaurants of all kinds in about six blocks of mid-town. As in Lowell, you can eat in a different country every night of the week. There’s a free shuttle bus called the Green Dash with pick-ups every ten minutes to encourage activity in the downtown. The Currier Museum of Art, a few blocks from the main street, is one of the best small museums in New England. What the museum leaders did with an expansion project would be worth looking at when we think about the future of the Whistler House Museum of Art and its Parker Gallery. There’s a Franco-American Center and a Science Center with a huge LEGO display in the Amoskeag Millyard District. I can imagine some collaborative programming between Lowell and Manchester. Like the Freedom Trail in Boston, there ought to be something like the Red-Brick Mill Run from Manchester through Nashua, Lowell, and Lawrence, to Haverhill and even Newburyport to catch that piece of the river valley story.

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H.



2 Responses to Manchester, N.H.

  1. kad barma says:

    What’s the proposed story thread to connect these cities for a potential visitor? Civil War sites are each compelling for their unique contribution to an overall touring narrative. Mill cities, unfortunately, are somewhat conceptually redundant, even if the additional attractions within them might be unique. I would think the river itself would need to become the focus of any sort of plan like this, not the cities.

  2. Corey says:

    Well, there is always the Mill Cities Relay!

    I think Kad is right though. However, as somebody who grew up in the one town touching both Lowell and Nashua, I spent a lot of time in both and have always been a bit surprised how weak the relationship between the two communities is. One thing that I think would help with that is if Nashua ever gets their act together with the MBTA extension. Or even if the Nashua bus system met up with the LRTA somewhere. I’ve always been flabbergasted by that one.