Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lyman Mills/Open Square

I have a big mama paper to finish that's worth big mama points. So I'm going to procrastinate via this post about it. Somewhat of a productive means of procrastinating, yes'um?

Holyoke was one of the first industrial cities in the States and offers a bit of a microcosm of American industrial development. Rapid entry into textiles and paper...rapid disappearing of its economic base a century later.

This paper is on the architectural developments of the Lyman Mills and their accompanying workers' housing. Honestly not a particularly enthralling topic, but hot damn did I enjoy checking out the converted mill interiors!


This image definitely doesn't do the spaces justice. See the Open Square website for their residential lofts. High ceilings, open floor plan, hardwood flooring or concrete, SO MANY WINDOWS. Semicircle, etc. Mills/Factories were built with so many regular windows so that light could stream to the center of the floor to save on energy costs. Single floor-length curtain drawn across the expanse of the wall?

I obviously have a very romanticized HIMYM/Friends notion of this, but imagine all the subdivisional units for you and your future housemate friends. I still think the conglomerated Mock Family should live in a building together.

Also on the Holyoke mills: NYTimes, local historian/blogger, NPS.

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