Lowell Dedication Plaza

Lowell, Massachusetts 

A plaza with a central water feature of sculptural steel ‘Stacks’ that evokes Lowell’s legacy as the birthplace of the US Industrial Revolution, the city’s iconic landscape of mills and hydraulic systems, its mid-century urban decline, and renewed hopes for the future.

This plaza sits within the heart the downtown Lowell Historical National Park and the Lowell State Heritage Park districts. Lowell is recognized as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the US and shares a legacy of not only hydrologic innovation and technology for its time, but also one of urban decline when industry left the region. Alison Duncan designed the water feature and Corten steel sculptural 'Stacks' that recall the iconic smokestacks which are omnipresent in Lowell's former industrial landscape while the weathering aspect of the steel also evokes the story of the city’s decline. Corresponding with the varied hydraulic systems found in Lowell such as canals, spillways, and waterfalls, each of the 'Stacks' has been designed with slight modifications to express a different aspect of water flow and movement, such as pour, spill, and cascade.

Other design features such as the large vine screen backdrop, benches, lighting, and potted plants have been carefully considered to create a stronger sense of place for this downtown park, day and night, and throughout the seasons.

The plaza tells the story of Lowell: its past, present, and its hopes for a renewed future, and is dedicated to the Enterprise Bank founder who is recognized for making significant contributions to the city over many decades.

Design Team

Alison Duncan Design