CENTER FOR LOWELL HISTORY UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL LIBRARIES

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WITHIN THESE WALLS:
 
Learning from the Library and City Hall

There is still much work for us to do, before we can completely and satisfactorily solve the problem how to attain perfection in gvernment.  As the builders will add stone to stone and brick to brick in the construction of this building, so let us with patience and industry gradually work out the solution of this great problem, until we can show the world a perfect model of municipal government.
(Grand Master of the Masonic Temple at     exercises laying the cornerstone of the new City Hall, October 11, 1890).

In looking at the grand granite monuments that are City Hall and Pollard Library, we understand the pride and optimism that was felt by officials and residents of an earlier Lowell.  And if we look closer at these public buildings, we can learn much about the history of our City and the men and women who shaped it.  The attic of City Hall no longer houses the office of the Inspector of Milk and Vinegar.  However, it currently serves a vastly more important function, for within the attic are tax books, payrolls, payment books, and Council records that document the 167 years of Town and City government.  We can discover how much local carpenter W.H. Wiggin was paid to build furniture for several City offices and learn how the city financed this payment.  And we can also learn why the Mayor vetoed the first Council vote to purchase land for the construction of City Hall. 

     By studying how our local government worked for us in the past, we can better understand our present and our future.  Civil liberty, education, and patriotism were the driving forces in the construction of City Hall and Memorial Hall.  On entering these buildings today, we can recall the ideals of the past and apply them to decisions in the future.

The Exhibit

Using documents which have been located and evaluated through an on going City Archive program, the History of City Hall and Pollard Memorial Library come alive through photographs, drawing, and municipal documents.  The exhibit shows the rich history of our public buildings, the complexities of government operations, and the vast resources available through the identification and organization of existing municipal records.

The Lowell Historic Board

The Lowell Historic Board (LHB) was established to promote the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the public through the preservation, protection, and enhancement of the unique historic values of the City of Lowell.  LHB helps preserve buildings and places significant in the history of the City, the Commonwealth and the United States.

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