“Roots of an Urban Cultural Park”
November 26, 2012 by DickH Posted in History, Lowell 6 Comments
The following video, “Roots of an Urban Cultural Park”, was produced in 1991 by Lowell’s Human Services Corporation to tell the back story of the Lowell National Historical Park and the Lowell Heritage State Park. Featured in the video are Pat Mogan, Marie Sweeney, the late Peter Stamas, the late Mary Bacigalupo and others. This film, 13 minutes long, was shown on November 15, 2012 at the “Remembering Peter Stamas” program at the Whistler House. It is well worth watching, both to get the real story behind the founding of the park and also for a glimpse back at life in Lowell twenty years ago.
6 Responses to “Roots of an Urban Cultural Park”
Thanks for sharing this! The story of the Human Services Corporation and the process that led to the Lowell National Historical Park is really one of the most interesting stories in the modern history of the city. I was very happy to show it at the Remembering Peter Stamas event and I really appreciate that you posted it and hopefully more and more people will be able to learn the story.
Thanks for posting this. I am at this point in my History class so I was able to draw some of this in.
Quick question – was the state forest created around this time too? The video makes quick reference to it but I didn’t pick up on it.
Much has been published about the transformation of Lowell with the National Urban Park, but this piece puts the thought behind that concept. But I have two questions: 1) why have I not previously heard of the Human Services Corporation and 2) where do we go from here?
Hi Joe: Human Services Corp dissolved in the late 1990s, after about 30 years of contributing to the city. HSC leaders were central to the formation of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, which became a kind of legacy organzation for HSC. The group’s remaining funds were directed to the Foundation. Another legacy group is the Lowell Heritage Partnership, which serves as an unofficial Friends of the National Park in Lowell. You can see more at lowellheritagepartnership.org. On the second question, Where do we go from here?, Lowell has a wonderful planning legacy and there are plans on the work table now, from the Jeff Speck Downtown Evolution plan to the big vision for the Hamilton Canal District and trolley expansion to the Creative Economy development plan being shepherded by the City’s office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events/CASE in partnership with COOL/Cultural Org of Lowell. But those plans don’t answer all the questions and match all the dreams—we have to keep at the “community change process” in the spirit of the folks in the video.
I worked at HSC back in the late ’70s as a student tourguide. Anne Welcome was my immediate supervisor and Karen Carpenter was the Director. Karen is now a School Board Member in Sarasota, Florida. Ann left our world far too early. RIP Anne Welcome.