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Frank L. Orrell Collection

About MMP Co.

The information in this guide dates from 1980 and is from the Lowell Cultural Inventory 



 CURRENT OWNER: Betty Realty Co.




Joan Fabric Corporation occupies a sizable factory complex on the south side of Western Avenue

along the Pawtucket Canal the buildings of the complex range in height from five stories to one,

and in construction date from ca. 1890 to ca. 1930 or later. Six individual or groups of structures

were identified and inventoried, and are presented (and numbered under current Name) in this volume in a progression from east to vest. Descriptive information on the individual units is contained within the individual forms, but most of the historical information on the whole site is contained on this first form, along with the Archeological Comment. The most prominent structure in the Western Avenue yard of the Joan Fabric Corporation stands beside the Pawtucket Canal, near the east end of the yard Five stories tall, the structure follows the north bank of the canal, forming a convex curve on that side. On the north side of the building, off-center toward the east, is a stair tower that rises to seven stories and displays "JOAN" signs north and south. 

Betty Realty Co.

Historic name: Mass. Mohair Plush Cop. Office

Current name: Joan Fabrics

 Architecture: Unknown




This group consists of two one-story wooden wings wrapped around a small two story brick building The taller wooden wing has projecting rafters which support overhanging eaves.

ADDITIONAL HISTORICAL INFORMATION The 1906 atlas shows an office wing of wood on the location of the present structure with projecting rafters. By 1924, the small brick building next to it appeared on the atlas. The other wooden wing apparently postdates 1924 Sources 1850 map. 1879, 1896, 1906, 1924 atlases. 

Current Name: Betty Realty Co.

Historic name: Coram block

Current name: Joan Fabric

Architecture: Unknown




The first floor of this building consist mainly of loading docks: the second floor accommodates the Joan Fabrics offices. ADDITIONAL HISTORICAL INFORMATION This low utilitarian structure seems to be outlined on the 1924 atlas as begin the Massachusetts Mohair Plush Company yard.

This building stands just north of the canal-side buildings. The north facade of the structure bears a granite plaque inscribed "CORAM BLOCK." The facade  also has a somewhat unusual quantity and arrangement of loading doors, with

two on each floor, near either end of the wall.

Current owner: Betty Realty Co/ Joan Fabrics Crop.

Current Name: Joan Fabrics

Historic name: Weaving Building

Architecture: Unknown

This ls a simple two-story industrial structure with rectangular windows.


See preceding Inventory Form on Massachusetts Mohair Plush Company Mills.

This structure does not appear to be shown on the 1924 atlas, and probably post- dates that time. 

Current owner: Betty Realty

Historic name: unknown

Current name; Joan Fabrics


The most notable feature of this structure is its saw-tooth roof, which

provides even northern light, probably for weaving activities. It stands

adjacent to the canal and is the westernmost structure in Joan Fabrics'

Western Avenue yard. North and west of this building is a paved

parking lot owned by Joan Fabrics, consisting of 45,635 square feet.


 See Inventory Form on the preceding Massachusetts Mohair Company Mills. This structure is not shown on the 1924 atlas and

must postdate that period. It stands on a site occupied by the Lowell Manufacturing Co. in 1879 and 1896, and then by Bigelow

Carpet Company buildings (1906) By 1924 those owners had been displaced by numerous wooden sheds of the Burnham and Davis

Lumber company.

Current owner: Betty Realty Trust

Current name: Betty Realty Trust

Historic name: None


The 1850 map shows a small square structure belonging to J.

P. Bridge on this site. The 1879, 1896, 1906 and 1924 atlases

show spurs of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Company The

1906 atlas shows this lot to be partially owned by the Locks

and Canals Company, along with the Nashua and Lowell

Railroad Company. Sources 1850 map. 1879, 1896, 1906 and

1924 atlases.


Over the last hundred years this site has been covered by spur lines of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Company. These have been

removed, but they may have disturbed subsurface remains of any other uses of the property.


 An aluminum-sheathed storage garage stands near the eastern end of this property The remainder of the lot is undeveloped.