Almost a year ago, the Lowell, MA, city council approved the sale of the iconic, but unused Smith Baker Center, a former church at the corner of Merrimack Street and Cardinal O’Connell Parkway, to the Coalition for a Better Acre. The CBA's plan is a little more complicated than simply purchasing it, so please check the article at the link here for the whole scoop. The former church has been vacant for a number of years, and the Coalition had come forward last year with a plan to change that. I had photographed inside the Smith Baker several years ago when I did a portrait of Suzzanne Cromwell, but the space itself was just a prop for that shoot. So I thought I would ask the Coalition for permission and access to do some “before” shots, hopeful that there would someday be an opportunity for some “after” ones. If you haven’t had a chance to see the interior, I hope this will give you a hint of it’s potential.
A special thank you to the CBA, and especially to Julia Gavin for a guided tour of the building.
There is more information about the CBA's plan and the building here.