Session Schedule (with descriptions)


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)
  1. Fifty Years of Community (Urban) Renewal
    Dan Cahill, Principal, Dan Cahill and Associates

    The presentation starts with the Lawrence Post Office. Cahill, the son of the Postmaster in Lawrence when the Post Office moved, asks the question: Why did the building have to be abandoned and then finally demolished? He provides the answer to that question, the history of the building from its construction in 1904 to its demolition, the reason for the move, and the two chances for preservation that failed. He then compares urban renewal in the past and community development as presently implemented in Lawrence, highlighting in this discussion his experience with community development in Florida.

  2. Neighborhood Effects

    • The Coalition for a Better Acre and Community-based Urban Renewal in Lowell, MA
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Student Richard Garcia

      The CB.A. has brought back to life many old buildings in the city’s Acre neighborhood and turned them into affordable housing. There efforts have prevented the knock down of many buildings while maintaining some level of affordable housing in the city. How this influential Community Development Corporation has emerged as a significant property developer in Lowell is the focus of this presentation.
      Garcia is an undergraduate student at UMass Lowell majoring in Entrepreneurial Studies. Born and raised in Boston, he currently works for a private equity firm as an intern. In the future he hopes to go to law school.

    • What Are the Mental Health Effects of Being Forced to Move from One’s Long-Time Neighborhoods?
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Students Esther Mawhinney, Loren Diforte and Alessha Guzzi

      The presentation focuses on how residents of Lowell who were uprooted from their homes and neighborhoods coped with this life-changing event. Oral histories will inform the presentation.

    • Big Projects—Big Neighborhood Changes (Dorchester)
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Student Danielle Ringler

      This presentation will focus on the recent gentrification of East and South Boston and the Fenway area, with a particular focus on how college and university expansion has changed the character of city neighborhoods. Lastly, I will examine how the development of upscale housing in East Boston is affecting working-class people who have long populated the neighborhood.

  3. Just Cause Eviction & the Struggle for Community Control of Housing and Land
    Lisa Owens Pinto, Executive Director, City Life/Vida Urbana; Steve Meacham, Organizing Director, City Life/Vida Urbana

    Support for just cause eviction protection is growing around the City of Boston. City Life/Vida Urbana is one of over 30 community organizations advocating for its passage. Just Cause protection would help prevent no-fault evictions and require one mediation before large landlords can raise the rent more than 5%. Proponents argue that this is an extremely modest proposal in light of the devastating gentrification taking place in Boston. The Cleveland Federal Reserve declared Boston is the US city worst hit by gentrification. The Brookings Institution found that the income gap in Boston was the largest in the country. Join City Life activists to learn about the movement to pass a Just Cause Eviction ordinance and how this ordinance fits with the broader struggle for community control of housing and land.

  4. From Demolition to Preservation to Celebration: Renewing Lowell, Mass.
    Peter Aucella, Assistant Superintendent, Lowell National Historical Park; Fred Faust, CEO, The Edge Group, Lowell; Paul Marion, president of the Lowell Heritage Partnership; Charles Parrott, Historical Architect, Lowell National Historical Park

    Panelists will review the case of Lowell, Mass., a premier example of good practices in historic preservation, cultural conservation, and urban regeneration. The National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2002 recognized Lowell for 25 years of exemplary achievement in preservation practices. The preservation ethic was largely a local response to the ravages of 1960s federal urban renewal policy, which left Lowell with large swaths of clear-cut areas that had been socially vital if economically struggling neighborhoods. Driven by city activists, bolstered by academics and urban affairs professionals, the community forged a new development ethic that demonstrated respect for local structures and the human story and which favored community-based decision-making. This led to Lowell being designated as a national park and state heritage park in the 1970s. Today, 97 percent of the five million square feet of formerly underused textile mill property in the city has been rehabilitated and made economically productive. Lowell has seen a parallel cultural revival with the associated social gains and psychological lift.

    The panel moderator will be Celeste Bernardo, Superintendent at Lowell National Historical Park.

  5. From the Ground Up in Lawrence

    • Challenges and Rewards When Working on Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods From the Ground Up
      Jessica Andors, Executive Director, Lawrence CommunityWorks

      Presentation by Lawrence CommunityWorks' director will address the specific challenges and rewards of working on revitalizing urban neighborhoods from the ground up. The discussion will focus on three themes: 1) sparking and sustaining authentic resident involvement in the planning, design, and implementation of revitalization projects; 2) solving the multiple, layered challenges of unlocking development sites that face issues from their industrial past and legacy of divestment, including environmental contamination, murky ownership, amassed liens, and obsolete infrastructure; and 3) the challenge of balancing housing development with commercial revitalization, all within the context of helping a City economically and physically reinvent itself.

    • Lawrence Urban Renewal: What We’ve Gained, What We’ve Lost and What’s at Risk
      Brad Buschur, Project Director, Groundwork Lawrence

      This presentation focuses broadly on urban redevelopment in Lawrence. We will discuss buildings as well as infrastructure that has been demolished, preserved or created over the last fifty years. The presentation will close with a discussion about the risks and redevelopment challenges associated with Lawrence's built environment as the city enters this next phase of urban redevelopment.

    • An Experience-Based Perspective of How Urban Renewal Impacted Lawrence’s North Common Neighborhood
      Armand M. Hyatt, Attorney at Law, Hyatt & Hyatt Law Offices, Lawrence

      There was a behind-closed-doors planning process by the City of Lawrence in the late 1970s and 1980s. Meaningful public input occurred only after the Renewal Plan had already become a fait accompli. North Common, an entire ethnic residential neighborhood—with various family business sprinkled among triple-deckers—was razed to carry out a politically power-driven Urban Renewal plan. One impact was the extent to which demolition served to push people out of that established neighborhood, compounding ‘white flight’ to the suburbs by those with economic means and effectively displacing those with less financial capacity. Out of this emerged a strong public resistance to a crucial component of the North Common Plan. This community activism ultimately led to the creation of a community development corporation and increased public awareness of how to (a) exert citizen-based power to challenge what may otherwise simply trickle-down from the channels of government and (b) engage in public debate over issues which affect the community.

11:30 am – 12:45 pm Session II (5 concurrent presentations)
  1. From Urban Renewal to Affordable Housing Production System: Boston Mayors and the Evolution of Community Development Corporations in Boston
    Karl F. Seidman, Economic Development Consultant and Senior Lecturer, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Elise Selinger, Masters in City Planning Student at the MIT

    Research on the history of community development corporations (CDCs) in Boston and how a strong ecosystem of support for CDCs has emerged over time will be presented. The session will discuss how early CDCs emerged as a grass roots response to urban renewal in Boston neighborhoods and then emerged as developers to implement urban renewal projects of their own. CDCs have become central to Boston’s effort to build affordable housing. By considering the role of mayoral leadership, city and state policies, foundation and other non-profit institutions in Boston’s strong support system for CDCs, this session can inform how industrial cities may address urban renewal and redevelopment.

  2. Parks, Place, and Preservation

    • Preservation and Place-Making: Lawrence Heritage State Park and the New Urban Renewal
      Jim Beauchesne, Visitor Services Supervisor, Lawrence Heritage State Park

      By the 1970s traditional urban renewal had gotten a bad rap over issues such as displacement of the poor, destruction of urban cores, projects friendlier to cars than to people, and the overall failure in its ultimate objective, to revitalize cities. In the late 1970s, MA pioneered a new model of revitalization: Heritage Parks. Targeting several struggling, older industrial cities, the Parks were to lift community spirit by celebrating local history and culture, to model historic preservation in city centers, to provide spaces for community gatherings, to create much-needed green spaces, and by doing all of this be revitalization catalysts. Of the parks created, Lawrence Heritage State Park has come closest to fulfilling all aspects of its mission and has contributed in often under-appreciated ways to Lawrence’s ongoing revitalization. This largely visual presentation will outline the history and impacts of Park in its 30th year.

    • Using Urban Renewal to Create Historical National Parks: Providence, Rhode Island and Rome, New York
      James C. (Jim) O’Connell, Planner, Boston Office, Northeast Region, National Park Service

      One purpose of urban renewal was to use historical commemoration to create a new urban image, attract tourists, and revitalize those cities. The presentation will focus on two smaller cities that used urban renewal to create national parks—Providence, RI (Roger Williams National Memorial; 1965) and Rome, NY (Fort Stanwix National Monument; 1973). The purpose of the Roger Williams National Memorial was to commemorate Williams and his Rhode Island Colony, the first effort in America to establish freedom of religion. Its creation entailed demolition of 4.5 acres of the urban fabric. Rome, NY sought to build a replica of Fort Stanwix, where a decisive military action took place during the Revolutionary War that helped secure American independence. The fort had been dismantled after the Revolution, and the downtown of Rome sprung up on the site. Rome demolished 15.5 acres of a blighted downtown and reconstructed a model of the historic fort to attract tourists. The presentation will discuss how such urban renewal efforts reflected an approach pursued during the 1960s and 1970s, but which is out of favor today.

  3. Urban Renewal’s Impacts on Springfield, MA and other Gateway Cities and New Approaches to Urban Renewal That Can Spur Revitalization
    Ben Forman, research director, MassINC; Lara Furtado, Ph.D. Student, Regional Planning Department, UMass Amherst; Michael DiPasquale, AIA, AICP, Founder, UMass Amherst Design Center, Springfield

    The session describes the impact that urban renewal has had on Springfield and other Massachusetts Gateway Cities and presents new approaches to reclaim this legacy in ways that can spur revitalization. Speakers will highlight new post-modern approaches to planning and redevelopment highlighting work done as part of a collaboration between the City of Springfield and the UMass Amherst Design Center. The session will include the presentation of recent Design Center projects including proposals for the redesign of underused public plazas, reuse of vacant spaces under and adjacent to highways, the redesign of vacant urban renewal parcels and design proposals for retrofitting existing parking lots/garages. We conclude with a discussion of current conditions in Springfield and other Gateway Cities, and prospects for the future.

  4. Malls, Modernism, and Urban Renewal

    • Rocky’s Folly: Modernism, Urban Renewal, and Albany’s Empire State Plaza
      Kathleen Mahoney, Master’s Student, Public History Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst

      The Nelson Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, also known as the South Mall, is a complex encompassing eleven state government buildings in downtown Albany, New York. Conceived by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, construction on this massive urban renewal project began in 1965 and lasted thirteen years, and its $2 billion price tag exceeds the cost of any other state government project to date. Rockefeller’s taste for modernist architecture and modern art provided the guiding aesthetic for the design and décor of the plaza, and the sleek modernist buildings stand in stark contrast with the adjacent 19th-century Romanesque Revival State Capitol building. While Governor Rockefeller aspired to create “our generation’s vision of what the capital of a great state should be,” his plans and designs prioritized his own personal aesthetic over what was appropriate for the physical and social fabric of Albany. The presentation contextualizes the history of the plaza within the broader history of modernist architecture and urban renewal. Using Albany as a case study, I will explore the ideas that informed modernist design as well as how and why it fell out of favor. While modernist architecture originally seemed to signify a break from stifled tradition and promised a better future, it took on new meanings within a few decades as looming skyscrapers in vacuous plazas failed to revitalize the urban environment.

    • Building Up, Spreading Out: Analyzing the Legacy of Buffalo’s Public Housing Projects During the Urban Renewal Era and Beyond
      Katelin Olson, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

      The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority was established in 1934 to oversee the development and maintenance of the city’s public housing. Under the auspices of slum clearance, thirty blocks on the near East Side was demolished in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The new high-rise malls, Ellicott and Talbert, towering modernist monoliths, were completed in 1958-1959. Over the next two decades, their use, maintenance, and treatment largely paralleled similar projects in cities including St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Boston. Yet unlike many of their contemporaries, parts of these projects were substantially renovated in the 1990s and now serve Buffalo’s low-income senior population. Buffalo’s East Side has been impacted by the architectural legacy of public housing, and ongoing projects inherit the legacy of their urban renewal predecessors. I argue that the confluence of public policy objectives and modernist architectural objectives resulted in the design and management of the Ellicott and Talbert Malls, while their adaptive reuse four decades later is notably distinct from the fate of contemporary high-rise projects in similar cities.

    • Six Key Ingredients to Successful Urban Renewal
      Richard Padova, M.Ed, M.A., Instructor of History, Geography and Government in the Global Studies Department, Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA

      Northern Essex Community College instructor Richard Padova discusses six identifiable predictors that form a recipe of success for any urban renewal plan. Cities that have incorporated these six key ingredients have witnessed a resurgence in their economy, a return of both shoppers and residents to their downtowns, and a strengthening of their tax base – three major benchmarks by which most cities’ urban renewal programs are judged.

  5. Old Spaces – New Uses: The Remaking of Lowell’s Historic Mill Footprint

    • How Did the Tsongas Arena Come to Be?
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Student Keith Clements

      On the site of the historic Merrimac Mills, knocked down in as part of one of Lowell’s early ventures into urban renewal stands the Tsongas Arena, now owned by UMass Lowell. The history of the arena’s construction is an interesting one, which includes a public referendum on its construction, a public-private partnership to get it built, and the city of Lowell’s eventually selling the building to the University. How this all came to pass and the public’s role in determining the outcome are the focuses of this presentation.

    • Mill No. 5 in Lowell: A Model for Reuse of Old Manufacturing Space
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Student Michelle Janiak

      Presentation will focus on public and private urban renewal efforts and around Mill No. 5 on Jackson Street. A general history of the area and interviews with residents and business owners will be conducted and inform the presentation. Historic and recent photographs of the space will be utilized as well.

    • Before and After: Lowell’s Jackson-Appleton-Middlesex (JAM) Area and Urban Renewal
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Student Katie Gilligan

      A careful examination of what the JAM area looked like before any urban renewal took place and what has transpired there over the last five years is the focus of this presentation. How was the renewal plan carried out? How much did community participation guide the efforts? What role did public and private funding play? Are there quantifiable benefits to the City of Lowell from the effort?

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm Lunch
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm Urban Renewal in Lawrence through the “Rising” Voices of Bread Loaf

Led by teacher Mary Guerrero, Lawrence middle school students will communicate through their writing how they see Lawrence and what’s important to them about their city. Students will highlight a new traveling exhibit containing their writing and artwork that will be unveiled for the first time on symposium day (Exhibit design by artist Kate Delaney).

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm Session III (4 concurrent presentations)
  1. Lawrence ‘Glory Days’ Re-Imagined

    • “This would be a ghost town”: Latinos and revitalization in Lawrence, MA
      Llana Barber, Assistant Professor of American Studies, State University of New York – College at Old Westbury

      In the decades after World War II, Lawrence experienced substantial population and economic decline. City leaders initiated urban renewal in an effort to draw middle-class residents and shoppers back into the city, but they were largely unsuccessful. Instead, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and other Latinos settled in the city over the next few decades, bringing new life into its economy and public spaces. This was not the “renewal” that city leaders had envisioned, and Latinos faced opposition on many levels, but ultimately the energy they brought to Lawrence was largely responsible for its revitalization. As a Latino community leader explained in the early 1990s, “If we would… leave the city, this would be a ghost town.”

    • Paternalism Inscribed on the Industrial City: The Case of Lawrence, MA
      P.J. Carlino, PhD Candidate in American & New England Studies, Boston University

      The magnificent towering brick factories of industrial cities are striking reminders of the glory of New England's manufacturing past. Viewed from an interstate drive-by, broken windows and crumbling smokestacks seem to confirm a prevalent narrative of economic and social collapse. Yet a more detailed analysis of the built environment of Lawrence reveals not only the expected tumultuous history of decline, but also a surprisingly lively city of businesses and immigrants. This presentation investigates the power relationships and community history in Lawrence, one of one of the first American planned industrial cities. Starting from a visual analysis of the existing conditions of the historic north canal area, the presentation uses architectural surveys, mapping, planning documents, legislation, newspaper accounts and oral interviews to demonstrate how paternalism among the city leadership affected the cultural geography of the city from its founding through twentieth-century attempts at urban renewal.

    • Lawrence: History and Image
      Dr. Patricia Jaysane, Ph.D., Historical Linguistics, Laval University

      Since the City’s beginning, Lawrence residents have struggled with history and image. Nowhere is that so clear as in the urban redevelopment efforts in the middle of the 20th century. After the Bread and Roses strike of 1912 and exacerbated by strikes in 1916 and 1919, the latter resulting in deportations associated with the Palmer raids, Lawrence began a decades long process of denial. The Housing Act of 1949 formed an unlikely alliance of Progressives seeking housing justice and businessmen who sought improved commercial conditions. Urban Renewal razed 10% of the city’s total acreage, most in North Lawrence in areas associated with the strikes, displacing thousands of residents from longstanding, ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

  2. Neighbors No More – Urban Renewal Comparisons and Research Methods in Lawrence and Lowell
    Fabiane Kelley, B.A. in History, UMass Lowell Honors College; Dr. Mehmed Ali, Program and Project Coordinator, UMass Lowell Libraries; Zachary Najarian-Najafi, Undergraduate Student, UMass Lowell; Anthony Sampas; Archivist and Metadata Specialist, UMass Lowell Libraries

    Overarching theme of the session is how urban renewal was executed in these two post-industrial cities and how local governments decisions impacted the communities they intended to serve. Presenters will analyze how the strong momentum of federal policies connected to substantial amounts of funds created an inexorable yet challenged drive towards the traditional urban renewal approach of knocking neighborhoods down. We will look at how the research for the studies was gathered and ask the question: “What do the existing archives tell and what might they hide?” Four participants will focus on different aspects of the urban renewal narrative. Kelley will present on the 1958 Common-Valley-Concord urban renewal project in Lawrence. Ali will discuss the urban renewal and city planning processes for Lowell during the key decades of the mid-20th century, with a comparison to some of the key features of Lawrence's narrative. Najarian-Najafi will showcase his work in creating an interactive website documenting Lowell’s Little Canada before its demolition. Sampas will tie all of the presentations together by discussing how the panelists conducted their research and how others might utilize a variety of unique archival resources to help tell the story of urban renewal.

  3. Resurrecting a Vanished Neighborhood: Interpreting Urban Renewal at Boston’s West End Museum
    Professor Lois Ascher, Clerk, West End Museum Board; Dr. Susan A. Hanson, President/Director, West End Museum; Duane Lucia, Curator of Exhibits, West End Museum; CEO, Gallery East Network

    West End Museum is a neighborhood museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the history and culture of the West End of Boston. The West End, an immigrant neighborhood, was destroyed and its population displaced in an urban renewal campaign that saw a third of Boston’s downtown demolished between 1958 and 1960. This panel will discuss the historical context of the demolition of the West End; the evolution of the West End Museum and its mission and its current effort to develop a strategic plan that will to ensure that the fulfillment of its mission into the future.

  4. Urban Renewal, a Small City’s Approach: Keeping Heritage Alive While Transforming the Urban Landscape (Gardner, MA)
    Trevor Beauregard, Executive Director, Gardner Redevelopment Authority; Russell Burke, Director of Planning with BSC Group; Tracie Pouliot, Community-Based Visual Artist/ Chair City Oral History Project; Dale Lucier, Subject, Chair City Oral History Project; Moe Savoie, Chair City Community Art Center

    Gardner, population just over 20,000, is a small city with a significant industrial history in furniture manufacturing. Since the industry’s decline the City has faced challenges dealing with abandoned properties such as the cost of remediating contaminated sites and demolition of underutilized, blighted buildings. Through private and public investments, along with forming federal, state and local partnerships, urban renewal plans have transformed the community. At the same time, the City and citizens take pride in their history of manufacturing, and there are many approaches to honoring and preserving that culture. The session examines two active urban renewal plans and the work of The Chair City Oral History project, a grassroots effort to honor and preserve furniture workers’ stories. The project’s focus is on the last large factory, Nichols & Stone, which closed in 2008. Gardner’s efforts offer a look at how urban renewal and a community industrial past need not be antithetical.

3:45 pm – 5:00 pm Session IV (4 concurrent presentations)
  1. Provenance, Preservation and Discovery: Urban Renewal Archival Resources in Lawrence, Massachusetts
    Amita Kiley, Collections Manager, Lawrence History Center; Kathleen Flynn, Researcher, Lawrence History Center; Richard Wetmore, Volunteer, Lawrence History Center; Louise Sandberg, Special Collections, Lawrence Public Library

    The Lawrence History Center (LHC) and the Lawrence Public Library Special Collections (LPL) host a vast amount of resources pertaining to urban renewal in the city of Lawrence. From Lawrence Redevelopment Authority records, to mayoral collections, oral histories, photographs, maps, and drawings—all are available to researchers. The presentation will tell the story of how the collections came to LHC and LPL, the process in which they have been preserved, and the myriad of ways each aspect may be explored by researchers.

    Kiley will provide an overview of the contents of and efforts made to organize and preserve the LHC’s Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Collection. Included in her presentation will be audio clips from select oral histories of those living in Lawrence during the period of urban renewal. Flynn will focus on the mayoral papers of John J. Buckley and Daniel P. Kiley, Jr., both major influences in the process and decisions of urban renewal in Lawrence. This presentation will highlight the depth of correspondence, newspaper articles, and administrative activities that can be found in each collection. Wetmore will provide an overview of the urban renewal maps and drawings collection and show examples of the documents available to researchers. Sandberg will use LPL resources (plans, school committee reports, photographs, yearbooks) to show how the change in the city’s demographics and image was reflected in schools’ physical structure and how those buildings either disappeared or morphed into other structures used for a variety of purposes. Time will be allowed for questions and answers, as well as, a brief tour of the Lawrence History Center.

  2. Town, Gown and History: Redefining Urban Renewal in a Mill City (Lowell, MA)

    • Lowell, Massachusetts: Case Studies of Urban Renewal Policies in a Gateway City
      Adam Baacke, Director of Campus Planning and Development for UMass Lowell and Craig Thomas, Chief Design Planner, Lowell Planning Projects Department

      Urban Renewal has shaped cities in many ways; Lowell is no exception. The City experienced several Urban Renewal initiatives during the immediate post-war decades, some realized and others abandoned for both lack of resources and the emergence of a pioneering new model for revitalization grounded in historic preservation. Lowell renewed its commitment to Urban Renewal in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a direct component of a preservation-based redevelopment strategy, in part correcting for some of the excesses of the earlier era. This session explores projects that have impacted Lowell from both eras and highlight the contrasts between the two models, emphasizing how lessons learned in the first era have influenced more inclusive and more urban-focused strategies during the contemporary era.

    • UMass Lowell, Its Neighborhood, and Urban Renewal
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Students Olivia Marshall, Brianna Doucette and Katie Vooys

      Presentation will look at the affects of UMass Lowell's expansion on the City of Lowell and residents of the neighborhoods that abut its expanding campuses. What existed before the University bought land and built new campus buildings? Who or what was displaced in the process? What are UMass Lowell’s future expansion plans and how might the plans impact the Acre neighborhood? Before and after images, maps, interviews, and written and oral histories inform the presentation.

    • UMass Lowell Expands: Good or Bad for its Neighbors?
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Students Madeline Ormaza and Bernice Yeboah

      UMass Lowell has been expanding into many parts of Lowell in the recent years, tearing down houses and small businesses in its path. We focus on seeing how this expansion has affected the people and businesses left in the area. Has the expansion affected them negatively? Are they constantly reminded of how UMass Lowell took the homes of people they knew and cared for or displaced local businesses that they frequented? Or, has the expansion been a blessing to the businesses and the economy of Lowell? Do the people living in these areas think that UMass Lowell has produced positive change? Interviewing with tenants and local business owners in the areas near North Campus will inform the presentation.

  3. Speaking Renewal in Lawrence, Massachusetts

    • We, the People: Voices of the Immigrant City
      Mark Cutler, Spanish Instructor, Phillips Academy Andover

      A vibrant collaboration between youths and adults committed to community development and to the idea that no one story defines a place, this presentation will highlight the work of Lawrence High School and Phillips Academy Andover teachers and students toward the creation of the oral history project “We, the People: Voices of the Immigrant City” ( Led by Phillips Academy Spanish instructor Mark Culter, students will share oral history work completed with Lawrencians who lived through Urban Renewal in the city and others who have more recently made Lawrence their home. The project interprets oral histories already held in the Lawrence History Center archive and identifies new subjects not previously interviewed in order to represent more broadly the diverse identities that make up the Immigrant City today.

    • A Personal Account of Lawrence in the 1950s and 1960s
      Anthony DiFruscia, Attorney at Law, DiFruscia Law Office; President and Founder, A.D. Management and Realty, Lawrence

      A personal account of Lawrence in the 1950s and 1960s with the advent of urban renewal, including a pictorial history of the Plains area, before and after urban renewal.

  4. Is ‘Out With the Old’ Always Better? (Haverhill, MA)

    • Beyond Brick and Mortar: Alternative Forms of Historic Preservation
      Sarah Sycz Jaworski, Community Engagement Assistant, Historic New England

      Focuses on non-traditional methods for preserving community history. Historic New England (HNE) recognizes the tough decisions communities face in trying to honor their past while stimulating economic growth. HNE’s Everyone’s History initiative is an innovative approach to preserving twentieth-century history through memory and imagery. In Haverhill, the project took the form of a documentary film, Woolworth’s: Remembering Haverhill’s Shopping District, produced in conjunction with cultural partners including the Buttonwoods Museum, Haverhill Community Television, and Haverhill Public Library’s Special Collections. The mid-twentieth century saw the rise of suburbs and the decline of Haverhill’s downtown. Unsuccessful urban renewal efforts led to the demolition of many iconic buildings during a time when economic progress was seen to be at odds with historic preservation. The film and session will discuss efforts to help preserve and tell the stories of the past in an effort to curb similarly destructive initiatives from happening in the future.

    • ‘Out with the Old in with the New’: Public Perceptions of Rebuilding Haverhill City Hall
      UMass Lowell Undergraduate Student Nairoby Gabriel

      Presentation focuses on public perceptions of the tearing down and reconstruction of City Hall. Highlighting the importance of public opinion, political motives for knocking down an historic building, and the tensions between old-style urban renewal and historic preservation are at the heart of the presentation.

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.