City of Lowell

History of Lowell

“Art is the Handmaid of Human Good” - Lowell City Motto

The constantly evolving City of Lowell started as an industrial mill city in the 1820’s, focusing on textile manufacturing. By the 1850’s Lowell had become a full-fledged urban center with the largest industrial complex in the United States. The textile factories in the city were weaving cotton produced in the south and for a time it had more cotton spindles combined than all eleven states that would form the Confederacy.

Now the fourth largest city in Massachusetts, Lowell is flourishing with a culturally diverse population that focuses on the arts and education. The city is home to the Lowell National Historical Park, Middlesex Community College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The cultural hub of the Merrimack Valley, Lowell is home not only to Merrimack Repertory Theatre, but also a thriving visual arts community.


Cultural Points of Interest

Brush Art Gallery
An art gallery that displays and nurtures the art of local artists
256 Market St.
978-459-7819

Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL)
Fostering engagement in arts and culture and increase the visibility and vitality of Lowell’s creative community

Lowell Folk Festival
The largest free folk festival in the United States, happening annually every summer

Lowell National Historical Park
Lowell National Historical Park offers a wide array of experiences, including walking, trolley and boat tours showcasing the history of Lowell
Reservations: 978-970-5000

  • Visitor Center: 246 Maret St.
  • Boot Mills Museum: 115 John St.
  • Mill Girl & Immigants Exhibit: next to Boarding House Park

National Streetcar Museum of Lowell
A museum that tells the history of streetcars, and also offers trolley rides around Lowell
25 Shattuck St.
978-458-5835

New England Quilt Museum
A showcase for antique and contemporary quilts
18 Shattuck St.
978-452-4207

Western Avenue Studios
The creative home to more than 200 working artists
122 Western Avenue
(978) 710-8605

Whistler House Museum of Art
A visual art museum named after and located at the birthplace of James McNeill Whistler
243 Worthen St.
978-452-7641