Place:Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States

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NameLowell
Alt namesEast Chelmsfordsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VII, 523
TypeCity
Coordinates42.639°N 71.315°W
Located inMiddlesex, Massachusetts, United States     (1653 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. With an estimated population of 108,861, it is the fourth-largest city in Massachusetts, after Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, and the second-largest in what the U.S. Census Bureau defines as Boston's metropolitan area.

Incorporated in 1826, Lowell became known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, and many of the city's historic sites have been preserved by the National Park Service.[1] Lowell is home to the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a Carnegie-classified research university and the second largest public university in Massachusetts. Along with Cambridge, Lowell is one of Middlesex County's county seats.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Founded in the 1820s as a planned manufacturing center for textiles, Lowell is located along the rapids of the Merrimack River, 25 miles northwest of Boston in what was once the farming community of East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The so-called Boston Associates, including Nathan Appleton and Patrick Tracy Jackson of the Boston Manufacturing Company, named the new mill town after their visionary leader, Francis Cabot Lowell, who had died five years before its 1823 incorporation. As Lowell's population grew, it acquired more land from neighboring towns, and diversified into a full-fledged urban center. Many of the men who composed the labor force for constructing the canals and factories had immigrated from Ireland, escaping the poverty and Potato Famines of the 1830s and 1840s. The mill workers, young single women called Mill Girls, generally came from the farm families of New England.


By the 1850s, Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the United States. The textile industry wove cotton produced in the South. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederacy. The city continued to thrive as a major industrial center during the 19th century, attracting more migrant workers and immigrants to its mills. Next were the Catholic Germans, then a large influx of French Canadians during the 1870s and 1880s. Later waves of immigrants included Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanians, Swedes, Greeks, and eastern European Jews. They came to work in Lowell and settled in ethnic neighborhoods, with the city's population reaching almost 50% foreign-born by 1900. By the time World War I broke out in Europe, the city had reached its economic and population peak of over 110,000 people.

The Mill Cities' manufacturing base declined as many companies began to relocate to the South in the 1920s.[2] The city fell into deep hard times, and was called a "depressed industrial desert" by Harper's Magazine in 1931, as the Great Depression deepened. More than one-third of its population was "on relief", as only three of its major textile corporations remained active.[2] Several years later, the mills were reactivated, making parachutes and other military necessities for the World War II effort. However, this economic boost was short-lived and the post-war years saw the last textile plants close.


Over the next few decades, the city was just a shadow of itself. In the 1970s, Lowell became part of the Massachusetts Miracle, being the headquarters of Wang Laboratories. At the same time, Lowell became home to thousands of new immigrants, many from Cambodia, following the genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. The city continued to rebound, but this time, focusing more on culture. The former mill district along the river was partially restored and became part of the Lowell National Historical Park, founded in the late 1970s.


At this same time, the Lowell City Development Authority created a Comprehensive Master Plan which included recommendations for zoning adaptations within the city. The city's original zoning code was adopted in 1926 and was significantly revised in 1966 and 2004, with changes included to respond to concerns about overdevelopment.

Although Wang went bankrupt in 1992, the city continued its cultural focus by hosting the nation's largest free folk festival, the Lowell Folk Festival, as well as many other cultural events. This effort began to attract other companies and families back to the urban center. Additional historic manufacturing and commercial buildings were adapted as residential units and office space. By the 1990s, Lowell had built a new ballpark and arena, which became home to two minor league sports teams, the Lowell Devils and Lowell Spinners. The city also began to have a larger student population. The University of Massachusetts Lowell and Middlesex Community College expanded their programs and enrollment.

In 2002, in lieu of updating the Comprehensive Master Plan, more broad changes were recommended so that the land use and development would be consistent with the current master plan. The most significant revision to the 1966 zoning code is the adoption of an inclusion of a transect-based zoning code and some aspects of a form-based code style of zoning that emphasizes urban design elements as a means to ensure that infill development will respect the character of the neighborhood or district in question. By 2004, the recommended zoning changes were unanimously adopted by the City Council and despite numerous changes to the 2004 Zoning Code, it remains the basic framework for resolving zoning issues in Lowell to this day.


One example of an area of the city that has made a significant adaptation to the zoning codes is the Hamilton Canal District (HCD) which happens to be the first district in Lowell, whose regulation and development is defined by its own Form-Based Code (HCD-FBC) legislated by its own guiding framework consistent to the HCD Master Plan. The HCD is a major redevelopment project that comprises 13-acres of vacant, underutilized land in the heart of downtown Lowell abutting historic ruins of former industrial mills and is adjacent to many appealing urban amenities. Trinity Financial was elected as the Master Developer to recreate this new district with the underlying vision of making it a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood that utilizes the value of the adjacent canals running through the district area and capitalizing on them to establish the HCD as a "gateway" to downtown's culture by enhancing the connectivity and access to the city's multi-modal transportation hub the Gallagher Terminal.

In July 2012, Lowell youth led a nationally reported campaign to gain voting privileges for 17-year-olds in local elections; it would have been the first municipality to do so.[3][4] The 'Vote 17' campaign was supported by national researchers; its goals were to increase voter turnout, create lifelong civic habits, and increase youth input in local matters.[5] The effort was led by youth at the United Teen Equality Center in downtown Lowell.[6]

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