LHP's Impact and Future
By Jennifer Myers for the LHP 15 Year Report, The Power of Preservation
The Lowell Heritage Partnership’s success hinges on its holistic approach to preservation.
Instead of the typical preservation society made up of architects, planners and historians dedicated to protecting physical structures, the LHP brought environmental crusaders and the cultural community into the fold.
“It's more like what life is: people in the buildings on the land. It all goes together,” Marion says.
Its impact can be seen in concrete ways: the restored Lincoln Monument on Lincoln Street, the Mill Bell at Central and Palmer Streets, the restored mayors portraits at City Hall. But, it is also there in more subtle ways, providing an unofficial “friends of” group for Lowell National Historical Park, providing an organized forum for activists to work together toward the continued preservation and promotion of the city’s architecture, natural resources and culture, and acting as an advocate for programs like Doors Open Lowell, Public Matters and initiatives such as expanding the Historic Board’s powers into the neighborhood districts.
“Its real value is as a group of community leaders who can advocate for historic preservation, urban design, community character, landscapes and culture,” said Aucella. “No one else is playing those roles as well as LHP.”
Board members Marie Sweeney and Stephen Stowell both said while grants and partnerships have allowed for part-time staff and have funded some projects, the LHP’s biggest struggle has been securing consistent funding.
“It would be nice to expand fundraising and hire staff,” says Stowell. “In the times when there has been a part-time staff person we have actually been able to solidify the mission and get out into the community more.”
“I'm hopeful for the future of LHP. I'm hopeful that a sponsor or partner will commit to annual financial support to stabilize the future,” says Sweeney. “I'm hopeful that others will joing LHP in commited stewardship for the preservation of the natural and built environment and of our cultural heritage.”