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Transportation culture and recreation miscellaneous

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Essex County




Lawrence's residents see the community as an older, urban, industrialized

city whose history parallels that of the country as a whole. Originally a

rural farming town, the city was transformed into a major industrial center

when Boston entrepeneurs developed huge textile mills on the Merrimack

River to use the power of its water falls. The mill owners built canals, a

dam and a reservoir, boarding houses and a machine shop for locomotives,

creating one of the first industrial complexes in the country.

Employees came first from other parts of New England to work in the mills,

but the city has traditionally served as an entry point to immigrants and

by the turn of the century, Irish, Polish, Italian, Syrian and

French-Canadians were following the jobs to Lawrence and setting a standard

of proud diversification for the city which is maintained to this day with

newcomers from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Despite the huge technological changes over the years, the manufacture of

textiles and of men's and women's clothing is still central to Lawrence's

economy and some of the finest names in apparel are made in the city. City

planners are working to broaden the city's industrial and business base and


(Narrative supplied by community)



Northeastern Massachusetts, bordered by Methuen on the north, Andover on the

west and southwest, and North Andover on the east and southeast. Lawrence is 26

miles north of Boston; 92 miles south of Portland, Maine; and 240 miles from New

York City.

Total Area: 7.42 sq. miles

Land Area: 6.97 sq. miles

Population: 70,207

Density: 10,073 per sq. mile

(National Climatic Data Center)

(Lawrence Station)

Normal temperature in January.....24.7°F

Normal temperature in July........72.5°F

Normal annual precipitation.......42.8"

U.S.G.S. Topographical Plates


Regional Planning Agency

Merrimack Valley Region

Metropolitan Statistical Area
(1993 Definition)



Municipal Offices

Main Number: (978) 794-5803

Telephone Numbers for Public Information
Form of Government


Year Incorporated

As a town: 1847

As a city: 1853

Registered Voters (Secretary of State 1994)
Number %

Total Registered 21,281

Democrats 12,723 59.8 %

Republicans 2,663 12.5 %

Other parties 40 0.2 %

Unenrolled Voters 5,855 27.5 %


Senators and Representatives by City and Town



Home Sales (Banker & Tradesman)-

Town Stats - Free market Statistics

Subsidized Housing Units (DHCD 1998)

DHCD Subsidized Housing Inventory

Subsidized Housing Units: The number of housing units which count toward the municipality's 10% goal for low- and moderate-income housing. It includes both subsidized affordable units and market rate units in certain eligible subsidized developments.

Public Housing Units (DHCD 1999)
Conventional State: 522

Conventional Federal: 1,056

Rental Assistance(DHCD 1999)

State (MRVP: 98

Federal (Section 8): 1,056



The development of transportation resources in the Merrimack River Valley,

where Lawrence is situated, was shaped by the history of the region as a

major site of American industrial development in the nineteenth century.

The area has exceptionally good highway and rail facilities linking the

major cities and towns to each other and to the port, airport, and

intermodal facilities of Boston.

Major Highways

Principal highways are Interstate Route 495, the outer belt around Boston,

and Interstate Route 93, which passes along the city's western border.


Commuter service to Boston's North Station is provided by Amtrak under

contract to the MBTA. Travel time: 52-57 minutes; 164 MBTA parking spaces.

The Springfield Terminal Railway offers freight service to Lawrence.

Contact number: (978) 663-1073


Lawrence is a member of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority

(MVRTA), which provides fixed route service within the city and to other

cities and towns in the region. The MRTA and the Lawrence Council on Aging

offer paratransit service to the elderly and disabled. Trombly Commuter

Lines provides commuter service to Boston M-F, with limited service on



The Lawrence Municipal Airport, a Reliever facility (RL) located in North

Andover, is easily accessible. It has two asphalt runways 3,901' and 5,000'

long. Instrument approaches available: Precision and non-precision.

Flight Line offers bus service to Logan Airport and Manchester Airport in

New Hampshire.


Board of Library Commissioners On-line Library Catalog

(American Association of Museums)

Immigrant City Archives, Historical Society of Lawrence and Its


135 Parker Street

(978) 686-9230

Lawrence Heritage State Park

1 Jackson Street

(978) 794-1655


Telephone Numbers for Public Information

Recreational Facilities(Recreational sites and activities)

Department of Environmental Management Recreation Section


(Dept. of Public Health 1992)


Lawrence General Hospital

Long Term Care

Anlaw Nursing Home

Berkley Retirement Home

Mi Nursing/restorative Center

Town Manor Nursing Home

Wood Mill Rehab. & Nursing Center


Merrimack Valley Hospice, Inc

Rest Homes

German Old Folks Home,inc


Telephone Numbers for Public Utilities


The Department of Housing and Community Development would like to thank the many government agencies noted as having provided information for the community profiles. In addition to these agencies, the Regional Transit Authorities assisted with the transportation component of the profiles. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of many city and town officials, which enabled us to include information obtainable only at the local level. DHCD would also like to thank the following individuals for providing special help: Leslie A. Kirwan, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Local Services, Department of Revenue; Richard Shibley, Deputy Secretary of State; Bob Beattie of the Department of Public Health; Charles W. Clifford from the Martha's Vineyard Commission; Dennis Coffey of the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction; Donna Fletcher and Christian Jacqz of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; James Griffin from the MBTA; Karen Loh from Banker & Tradesman; Todd Maio from the Department of Welfare; Geoffrey Morton from the Election Division of the Secretary of State's Office; Stephen R. Muench of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission; Rol Murrow of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Mary Ann Neary and Emmanuelle Fletcher, reference librarians at the State House Library; Jeff Nellhaus from the Department of Education; and George Sanborn, reference librarian at the State Transportation Library.

NOTE: The COMMUNITY PROFILE draws information from a diversity of sources. The main source of information is listed under each section. In some instances comments submitted by the municipality were incorporated to correct and/or enhance the information obtained from the main source. However, no changes were made to those data bases which must be consistent throughout the state. DHCD has made efforts to ensure the accuracy of all data in the COMMUNITY PROFILES, but cannot take responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained in this document.

Department of Housing and Community Development

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