13 September 2008
Innovations of Yesteryear Festival
In 1976, the Bicentennial issue of Life magazine declared that Francis
Cabot Lowell's factory in Waltham was the fourth most important
development to shape America.
Unfortunately, Lowell's factory was virtually dead when it received
the honor. After 150 years of production, the historic facility was
shuttered, neglected, and perilously close to demolition.
Luckily, the mill's fortunes soon turned. The site was granted status
on the National Register of Historic Places. Waltham received a $10
million urban revitalization grant, which allowed the site to be
renovated and preserved.
As part of the site's renovation, a group of cultural, civic, and
business leaders created the Charles River Museum of Industry in what
had been the mill's massive steam-powered engine and boiler
rooms. Following a monumental campaign of fundraising, cleaning,
building, planning, and installation, the museum opened its doors in
--- Charles River Museum of Industry