Boott Mills

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Boott Mills (2006 photo)

Coordinates: 42°38′54″N 71°18′30″W / 42.6482°N 71.3084°W / 42.6482; -71.3084 The Boott Mills in Lowell, Massachusetts are an early American cotton mill, parts of which date to 1835. Their namesake is Kirk Boott, one of the early mill leaders in Lowell.[1] Today, the Boott Mills complex is the most intact in Lowell.

Running off of hydropower, the original operation consisted of four gable-roofed brick mill buildings. Eventually, floors were added, giving them flat roofs, the buildings were connected by stair towers and clock towers, and other buildings were added to the complex as well. Steam power and electric power were eventually introduced.

The New England textile industry was in decline by World War I and collapsed after World War II; the Boott Mills ceased operations in 1958. In the late 1970s, they became a key component of the Lowell National Historical Park, largely because the complex stood virtually whole, unlike other complexes which had suffered fires, or selective or wholesale demolition, like the older Merrimack Manufacturing Company. Additionally, the Boott Mill still contains buildings dating from the 1830s, as well as containing new structures, dating closer to 1900. As such, it is a catalog of industrial development over that time period.

The Boott Mills are an excellent example of adaptive re-use; they contain the National Park weave room exhibit, condos, apartments, and offices.[2] Renovations of certain buildings still continues. A single row of Mill girl housing, built for the early operatives under the Lowell System, still stands after an extensive renovation, and features exhibits as well.


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