Monday, March 7, 2016

Whither Lowell's Stations of the Cross?

Stations of the Cross in Lowell, MA

The Grotto at the Franco American School in Lowell, MA
(c) 2015 by Rick Dale 

With the closing of the Franco American School in Lowell at the end of this academic year, many are wondering what will happen to its Stations of the Cross and the Grotto, a religious site that Jack Kerouac was familiar with from his youth and which he made famous in Dr. Sax.

Click here for a Lowell Sun article about the matter.

Those of us Kerouacians who have visited the Stations and the Grotto can attest to the solemn importance of this place, and I think we have an obligation to take action.

It probably would help to contact board members of the Franco American School, who can be found listed here. This is the name and address of the chair:

Robert Audet, Chair
Board of Directors
Franco American School
357 Pawtucket Street

Lowell, MA 01854

Also, it might help to contact Stephen Sowell, administrator of the Lowell Historic Board, which is responsible for historic preservation in Lowell. His contact information is here or you can contact him as follows:

Stephen Stowell, Administrator
Lowell Historic Board
375 Merrimack Street
2nd Floor, Room 51

Lowell, MA 01854

You could also write to the Chancellor of UMass Lowell, the latter being mentioned in the Sun article as a potential buyer of the property. Her contact information is:

Dr. Jacqueline Moloney, Chancellor
UMass Lowell
University Crossing
220 Pawtucket St., Suite #400

Lowell, MA 01854-5120

If the school and historic board (and the Chancellor) were to receive a number of phone calls and e-mails from concerned Kerouacians around the world, it might persuade them of the importance of the Stations and the Grotto to many people beyond the confines of Lowell itself.

It takes five minutes to zap off an e-mail. Just do it.

1 comment:

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Here is an update from The Lowell Sun: