M. Brendan Fleming

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Martin Brendan Fleming (February 2, 1926 – May 28, 2016) was the mayor of Lowell, Massachusetts, from 1982 to 1984, and a member of the Lowell City Council for nine terms between the years of 1969 and 1992. Professor Brendan Fleming was a faculty member in the Math Department at Lowell Technological Institute and the University of Lowell for decades, retiring in 1996.

In 1963, Fleming served on the Board of the Lowell Redevelopment Authority, chaired by Homer Bourgeois, President of the Lowell Union National Bank. During this time, the Lowell Redevelopment Authority initiated a Federal Urban Renewal project which would demolish Lowell's Little Canada neighborhood, Merrimack Manufacturing Company, and the Dutton Street Boardinghouses. Against Chairman Bourgeois' wishes, Fleming, along with several other LTI faculty members and community activist Lydia Howard, worked tirelessly to save and preserve the red brick Dutton Street Boardinghouses built in 1845. They failed, and shortly thereafter Chairman Bourgeois replaced Fleming on the Board of the Lowell Housing Authority.

Committed to the historic preservation of Lowell canal system and historic mill buildings, in 1966 Fleming went before the Lowell City Council and suggested the creation of the Lowell Historic Commission and was rejected, told that the history of Lowell best be forgotten. Fleming then ran for the Lowell City Council in 1967 and finished in 11th place of 18 candidates — missing a seat on the Lowell City Council by two spots, but won his first council election in 1969 with a first-place finish receiving 16,639 votes; finishing with 56.7 percent of the vote and 1331 votes more than second-place finisher Ellen Sampson.[citation needed]

In 1971, Fleming proposed the creation of the Lowell Historic District Commission and the establishment of the "Lowell Locks and Canals Historic District" and the "City Hall Historic District." Fleming efforts were the foundation of the Historic Preservation and Restoration that has taken place in Lowell, Massachusetts.

When the Lowell city council voted to create a park in honor of Jack Kerouac, Fleming voted against naming the park after Kerouac. "I didn’t think, and I still don’t think, that this particular person would be the best example for our children," Fleming said. "And there were other people who we could have voted for, like (Air Force commander) Hoyt Vandenberg — he came from Lowell — or Bette Davis. Kerouac is not someone about whom I want to say, 'This is the type of person who comes from Lowell.'"[1]

In January 2008, Fleming's grandson Andrew Fleming was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.[2] Fleming died on May 28, 2016, at an assisted living facility in Westford, Massachusetts.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Associated Press (2007-09-02). "'On the Road' and Jack Kerouac still inspire". msnbc. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  2. ^ "Local men and women serving in our armed forces abroad". The Lowell Sun. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  3. ^ 'Former Lowell Mayor M. Brendan Fleming dies at age 90,' Lowell Sun, Lisa Redmond, May 29, 2016