Sunday, November 29, 2009

Low Overhead

Leafless, but pretty mild for late November.

It was a fine afternoon for a quick drive through Mt. Tom State Park, for a quick overview of a newly bark-heavy valley...

There are several lookouts along the park road to stop and take in the burg just below, that is, the town of Easthampton.

The downtown area is easily distinguishable for it's former town hall-turned arts center, peeking up above the branches.

The town's former 19th century mill/factory complexes stretch for miles and are the other most noticable feature from above. Some parts of the old textile and rubber mills have been restored and put to very good use, particularly the Eastworks building, with shops, restaurants and a newly transplanted RMV office. Other projects at the old blown out buildings haven't had as much fortune, like a recently failed LBGT-geared condo project.

On the way back, I stopped at another lofty lookout by the Soldiers' Home, for a look at Holyoke's prominent red bricked buildings glowing in the setting sun. Here's another town, like many in the valley, with tons of old industrial factory space just begging to be restored and put back to good use.

Holyoke has had some success already with factory renovations, including some recently created office and arts space in the former manufacturing areas, and the ongoing development of a new walk/bike ways along a section of the factory canals. But the big hope in the wings right now is the projected renovations and installation of a major computer complex in one of the former factories. This multimillion dollar project could be a huge development for the city. One of the reasons for it's consideration was the factory area's cheap electricity; many of the buildings generate their own with water turbines straight from the canals.


No comments: