This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities​, UMass Lowell, NECC, the Catherine McCarthy Memorial Trust Fund, the ECCF—Rosman Family Fund, and the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

8:00 am – 8:45 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:45 am – 9:00 am Welcome
Susan Grabski, Executive Director, Lawrence History Center
Professor Robert Forrant, Department of History, UMass Lowell/LHC Board of Directors
9:00 am – 9:45 am Keynote Address:
"The Planners and the People: Boston's Urban Renewal Revisited"

Lizabeth Cohen, Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard University
10:00 am – 11:15 am Session I (5 concurrent presentations)
  • Fifty Years of Community (Urban) Renewal
  • Neighborhood Effects
  • Just Cause Eviction & the Struggle for Community Control of Housing and Land (in Boston)
  • From Demolition to Preservation to Celebration: Renewing Lowell, Mass.
  • From the Ground Up in Lawrence
11:30 am – 12:45 pm Session II (5 concurrent presentations)
  • From Urban Renewal to Affordable Housing Production System: Boston Mayors and the Evolution of Community Development Corporations in Boston
  • Parks, Place, and Preservation
  • Urban Renewal’s Impacts on Springfield, MA and other Gateway Cities and New Approaches to Urban Renewal That Can Spur Revitalization
  • Malls, Modernism, and Urban Renewal
  • Old Spaces – New Uses: The Remaking of Lowell’s Historic Mill Footprint
1:00 pm – 1:45 pm Lunch
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm Lunchtime presentation: Urban Renewal in Lawrence through the “Rising” Voices of Bread Loaf
2:15 pm – 3:30 pm Session III (4 concurrent presentations)
  • Lawrence ‘Glory Days’ Re-Imagined
  • Neighbors No More – Urban Renewal Comparisons and Research Methods in Lawrence and Lowell
  • Resurrecting a Vanished Neighborhood: Interpreting Urban Renewal at Boston’s West End Museum
  • Urban Renewal, a Small City’s Approach: Keeping Heritage Alive While Transforming the Urban Landscape (Gardner, MA)
3:45 pm – 5:00 pm Session IV (4 concurrent presentations)
  • Provenance, Preservation and Discovery: Urban Renewal Archival Resources in Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Town, Gown and History: Redefining Urban Renewal in a Mill City (Lowell, MA)
  • Speaking Renewal in Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Is ‘Out With the Old’ Always Better? (Haverhill, MA)
5:15 pm – 5:45 pm Walking Tour
Led by Jim Beauchesne, Visitor Services Supervisor, Lawrence Heritage State Park

Walking tour from the Everett Mill through the Historic Mill District viewing examples of historic preservation and urban renewal, including the Lawrence Heritage State Park. The walk will conclude with good food, drink, and atmosphere at El Taller / The Workshop on Essex Street. *

* Dinner not included in registration fee

Other Attractions
The following will take place in the Common Space on the 3rd Floor of the Everett Mill

  • Lawrence, MA: A New Urban Renewal Plan for a New Century
    Emily Keys Innes, Urban Planner, The Cecil Group and Harriman; Maggie Super Church, Independent Consultant

    The city of Lawrence is creating LawrenceTBD, a process centered on community engagement, interaction, and input. At every stage of the process, discussions are informed by rigorous analysis of data collected from many sources, including residents’ lived experience of the city. The Lawrence Redevelopment Authority (LRA) has identified job creation, economic development, quality of life, and fiscal stability as primary goals for this effort. The final plan will identify where and how the LRA can address these goals in concert with the City, local businesses and institutions, and community organizations. The ability to comb parcel data, map it using GIS (geographic information systems) and overlay the results with data collected in the field has enabled project planners to identify both assets and challenges in order to target interventions more effectively. Analysis of economic data and community discussion and input at every stage of the process round out the picture of what is now and what could be in the future.

    Come meet members of the LRA, its Citizens Advisory Committee and consultant team and discover how urban renewal planning in Lawrence has become an inclusive, collaborative and community-driven process.

  • Student Exhibit: The Rising Loaves

    This exhibit is an extension of the summer 2015 Lawrence Student Writers Workshop – The Rising Loaves: Andover Bread Loaf at the Lawrence History Center – funded in part by UMass President’s Office Creative Economy Initiative Funds and by El Taller, Lawrence, MA.

    Exhibit designed by Kate Delaney.


Tue–Fri: 9am-4pm
Sat: By appt
Sun-Mon: Closed

Address & Phone

6 Essex Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.