The closing was a negative milestone in the business life of Lowell and a disaster for those employed at the Prince Macaroni plant. Ted Kennedy stood with the employees and tried with federal funds to make a deal to save the plant – to no avail.
From the blog archive:
Mass Moments reminds us that on this day July 16, 1997, a tentative deal was announced by Borden to save the famous Prince pasta plant in Lowell. Hoping that the “Spaghettiville” plant would continue to be one of the city’s largest employers, Senator Ted Kennedy acquired federal funds targeted to help Boston Macaroni – formed earlier in the year and made up of investors, former Prince managers, and the plant’s union – save the plant. In the end Borden refused to give up rights to the “Prince pasta” name and Boston Macaroni discovered that the building needed millions in repairs. By the fall, the deal was dead.
On this day…
…in 1997, the Borden company announced a tentative deal to save the Prince pasta factory in Lowell. When Borden closed the failing plant, Senator Ted Kennedy remarked that it was “a sad day in Spaghettiville.” Prince had been one of Lowell’s major employers ever since it moved there from the North End in 1912. To TV viewers, however, the company was forever associated with Boston’s “Little Italy.” Commercials showed a boy running home through the narrow North End streets, with the tag line “Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day.” Employees and investors tried to buy the pasta plant. Borden was willing to sell the building but not the Prince name. The deal fell through, and Lowell was Spaghettiville no more.
Read the full article here at MassMoments.com.