The exhibit, “What is the Acre?” was created for Western Avenue Studios as part of the July 16, 2022 event "Celebrating Diversity – Lowell Has It!" A joint effort of Lowell Historical Society, the Pollard Memorial Library, and the UMass Lowell University Library the exhibit focuses on the rich history of the Lowell neighborhood where the studios reside. The Western Avenue building, once a dynamo of textile manufacturers Mass Mohair and Joan Fabrics, has been rehabbed for artists to work and showcase their creations.
From its beginning, the Acre has been a gateway for immigrant groups and other newcomers as well as a mixed use neighborhood which included residences, trade, and manufacturing. While “What is the Acre?" is not a comprehensive history, it gives historical context while highlighting the people and places that have come and gone, from the Stone House tavern overlooking the Pawtucket Falls to the American success story of the Market Basket super market chain, which had its beginnings here.
"What is the Acre?" was on display at Western Avenue Studios for July and August 2022 and can presently be viewed at the O'Leary Library Mezzanine for the month of September.