Home Digital Photographs Genealogy Resources Special Collections Search
HUMAN SERVICES CORPORATION
| Lowell's extraordinary
revival over the past twenty years has been reported worldwide. The
fundamental change is that the city has been recast as a historical park
whose physical and cultural resources are being preserved as a national
treasure. It is important to remember that this change for the better is
the result of the imagination, passion, and persistence of Lowell people.
Working in the schools, downtown, and in the neighborhoods beginning in
the 1960's, people who believed that new life could be breathed into the
city shaped a plan for a radically different kind of "park" based on Lowell's
heritage and way of life. Early on, this idea was called the "Urban
National Cultural Park."
The Park was only one piece of HSC's overall plan to create a model system for delivering every type of service: health, education, housing, recreation, and more. The genius of the plan is that the services are integrated and provided by a multi-purpose organization. This was the concept for a Center for Human Development, which reflects the global thinking of Patrick J. Mogan and the others. The Human Services Corporation was to be a "neutral ground" where various institutions and organizations could work together to further individual and community development. In effect, HSC became the Center for Human Development.
Both the Park and Center emerged from the grassroots planning process of Lowellians working through the Model Cities Program, a federal urban development program begun in 1966. In her analysis of Lowell's revitalization, scholar Loretta Ryan writes that "Model Cities was often seen as an improvement upon the demolition-oriented, neighborhood-destroying urban renewal program in its attention to social concerns."
Looking for ways to revive the downtown and neighborhoods, residents working through the Model Cities Program had established the following goals:
• Use of the city as a learning laboratory;
• Improvement of the environment so as to
• Increased respect for the cultural heritage
• Preservation and enhancement of historic
The Human Services Corporation, in collaboration with city planners, consultants, business leaders, elected representatives, public officials, and community groups, turned these goals into a platform on which to rebuild the city. Funding from the New England Regional Commission and Community Development Block Grant
Top Of Page Previous Page or Next Page