Internet in Lowell: Stone Age

In April 1998, UMass Lowell hosted what I believe was the first public forum to discuss what the web could or would do in the city. The event was billed as a town meeting and featured guest speakers, a panel discussion, a demonstration of a new online cultural magazine called “The Bridge Review,” and more. I scanned these two documents from one of my notebooks. I had forgotten that we had so many people talking about the new communications tool. One of the new ventures was something we called the Flowering City Forum, which was intended to be a web-based community network for the exchange of information, ideas, and creative expression. The name referred to the Flowering City planning project going at about the same time, which was an effort to improve the city’s natural environment. Another early venture was Charlie Nikitopoulos’s virtual exhibit, “Acropolis of America: The Greek Community of Lowell, 1930-1940.” There were four lead people on the Flowering City Forum project. In addition to Charlie and me, there were his Psychology Dept. faculty colleague Dave Landrigan, who was very knowledgeable about computer hardware and software because he was using these in his research, and Clementine Alexis of Lowell, then on the board of directors of the Human Services Corporation. At the time, she and I were fellows in the Building Communities Through Culture program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, which awarded us a seed grant for the project. HSC also provided start-up money. For easier reading, click on each document to enlarge it.

web forum 1998

web forum 98 2



2 Responses to Internet in Lowell: Stone Age

  1. Marie says:

    I was at that Forum… I remember it well. How forward thinking it was and look at where we are now with technology and social media in Lowell / Greater Lowell. Lowell: the Flowering City was able to plant many seeds… such flowering today! I think of Peter Stamas and Mary Bacigalupo and remember their leadership and inspiration with HSC and “Flowering City”…. Thank you for your leadership, Paul.

  2. Anonymous says:

    From Charles Nikitopoulos: Two postings: 1. I read just before this posting about Lowell’s less than superb quality of web access. Yes, it’s got to improve. and 2. I remember back at this time, comments by David Landrigan about “making money on the internet” – we had the thought but “no chance’ as we were all over 22 at the time. :) Good memories …