Lowell is more than just Downtown. Explore the richness of Lowell’s historic neighborhoods.
Just northwest of Downtown, the Acre was initially named for its size. However, during Lowell’s industrial boom, it quickly became one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the City, outgrowing its original name. As the population grew, a network of businesses and schools emerged, creating a diverse, distinct community. Today, the neighborhood has undergone a tremendous revitalization, providing affordable, quality housing while retaining its strong cultural heritage. Fueled by the work of City planners and community organizations, the Acre continues on its mission of preservation and economic growth.
Directly south of Downtown, Back Central, better known to locals as “The Flats,” is nestled alongside the banks of the Concord River. Because of its large concentration of churches, it has also been called Chapel Hill. Back in the 1800’s, Central was one of the first residential neighborhoods to develop around the City’s industrial center, characterized by its architectural diversity with influences from Greek Revival to classic French and Italian styles.
Today, much of the original character has been preserved, making it home to many of the City’s most noted architectural landmarks.
One of the City’s grandest neighborhoods, Belvidere is rich with historic charm and situated between the Merrimack and Concord Rivers. Belvidere, meaning “beautiful to behold” in Italian, is home to several historic sites including Shedd Park which is nearly a century old. The community is involved in ongoing initiatives to restore this historically rich area including Rogers Fort Hill Park and the Oakland Fire Station. Although the area has been modernized, it remains true to its roots containing some of the most beautiful, historic homes in the City.
Originally part of Dracut, Centralville originally developed as a residential community for the City’s mill workers. Just northeast of Downtown, across the Merrimack River, Centralville is the birthplace of renowned poet and author Jack Kerouac. To honor his literary contributions, the City holds an annual festival centered around his life and work.
Defined by its distinctive canals and historic architecture, Downtown Lowell offers an authentic, urban experience. Rooted in its rich history and unique location on the banks of the Merrimack, Downtown has transformed into a crossroads of commerce and creativity. With a strong business community and diverse residents, Downtown is alive with energy. Downtown is home to diverse eateries, unique retail and professional services along with distinctive residential spaces. Many mill buildings have been renovated into beautiful lofts and versatile office space, blending in seamlessly with new construction. A destination for world-class events, nightlife and the arts, Downtown is a great place to live, work or visit.
A mix of commerce and culture, the Highlands neighborhood is located in Lowell’s western quadrant. The Highlands is characterized by a rich cultural history, religious diversity and a variety of homes from large estates to multi-family residences. With a varied landscape, the Highlands feature distinctive parkways, quaint residences, open-space, and businesses of all shapes and sizes. The area is also home to Cross Point, a high-rise office complex which has housed many of the area’s leading businesses.
The neighborhood of Pawtucketville is named after its first inhabitants, the Pennacook tribe of Native Americans. With a rich history, the area was once home to famous Lowell residents Edward Colburn and Samuel Varnum.
As Lowell’s largest neighborhood, it maintains a suburban feel while only minutes from Downtown. The area is primarily single-family homes situated alongside the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngoboro State Forest - a great spot for hiking, biking and other outdoor recreation.
Nestled in the City’s southeastern corner, South Lowell is the collective name for several neighborhoods including Ayer City, Sacred Heart, Riverside Park, Swede Village, the Bleachery, the Grove and Wigginsville. Over the years, the area has created its own network and commercial center supported by commercial and residential development. One of the most notable features of the neighborhood is the Lowell Cemetery. A testament to Victorian styling and architecture, it incorporates park-like landscaping with more traditional markers and headstones. Two of its most notable inhabitants include US Senator Paul Tsongas and Puerto Rico Governor Charles H. Allen.