The Larz Anderson Auto Museum in the Boston suburb of Brookline is advertised as America’s oldest automotive museum. Larz and his wife were very early auto enthusiasts, buying their first ‘horseless carriage’ in 1899.
By the 1920s they had collected enough cars they stored them in the carriage house, and opened up their museum.
I had very high hopes for this museum, as it regularly makes the ‘top automotive museum’ lists. When we arrived we were greeted, somewhat, by a lady at the counter who barely had time to interrupt her conversation with her cousin about something to take our money and waive us towards the cars.
This obviously set a tone of disappointment, that fortunately was neutralized by a nice, small collection of some very impressive autos in a display called the Golden Age.
Further back there was a second room with a few more cars, also well displayed.
Another small room had a collection of pedal cars, and other items.
There is some nice automotive art throughout. The lower level had a few more very vintage autos in various states, as well as a bicycle collection.
The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is a nice place – however having seen numerous auto museums across the world I don’t think it rates as one of the premier ones. Perhaps had we attended on one of their numerous special events days where people bring their own classic cars.
Lowell, Massachusetts was an early center of the textile industry in America. It was one of the first real industrial centers, with large cotton mills being built along the waterways.
By diverting the river into numerous canals they could power the machinery for the mills. The canals remain to this day, in various states.
One of the former mills houses a museum that shows the power plant that used the water to generate the power to run the machines.
Because of the flammability of the dust, they used wooden gears that didn’t create sparks.
It is when you go into the main production floor exhibit that you get a true feel for the sheer size of the operation.
While we were there they ran 2 of the looms, which was incredibly loud. One could only imagine what these young ladies went through with 200 of them running at the same time, while working their 12-14 hour, 6 day a week job.
The National Park Service runs a replica trolley around town to shuttle visitors between the sites. A visit to Lowell is educational, and worth the visit if you are in Massachusetts.
A couple of hours on a Sunday morning provided the perfect time to wander the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and check out the buildings.
The Stratton Student Center faces Mass Avenue – featuring the 2010 piece ‘Alchemist’.
Nearby is the Kresge Auditorium. Designed by Eero Saarinen it was completed in 1955.
Across Mass Ave is the Rogers Building. While much of MIT was built in around 1915-1916, this building was built in the 1930s to provide an interface to Mass Ave, but built in the same style – with an impressive dome.
The Maclaurin Building’s dome is equally impressive – highlighting a reading room on an upper floor.
The Green Building. Cambridge has laws restricting height, so to get around this MIT built the first floor 30′ high. Unfortunately because of this design the winds around this building hamper the ability to open and close the doors some days.
The artwork in front ‘The Big Sail’ was rumored to be an effort to deflect the wind – but MIT says this is an urban legend.
Finally the Ray and Maria Stata Center. As anyone who has studied any architecture can immediately tell it is a Frank Gehry design.