July 9, 2011
Ms. Kimberly D. Bose
888 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20426
Re: Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2790-055: “Draft Environmental Assessment for a Non-Capacity Related Amendment to License”, Lowell Massachusetts.
During the past nine (9) months the FERC has deliberated on this application by Enel Corporation and has now published a draft of its final report. This report, among other things, covers some opinions of what the Enel company believes are historically insignificant. This letter I am presenting now is in opposition to Enel’s attitude, and is in conjunction with the other formal responses from the historic community. I am not under the impression the world is waiting on my contribution, or my opinion, into Enel’s intrusion of the historic Pawtucket Falls Dam. There are more qualified and more gifted who have already made comment. But, having the advantage of age, and still capable of writing, I believe I should add in some way. I choose to reflect on the City of Lowell’s opportunity to build, maintain and project its historical significant properties. Every city in this country has an image and profile they value and most of these cities cherish their history. Every city in this country has limitations and ability to finance a plan and desire to develop and maintain that image. Lowell is no exception.
Anyone growing up in and around Boston knows the value of history to a city. You can not walk from one end of downtown Boston over to some of the neighborhoods without seeing buildings that seem to be ageless. Buildings that were there for Paul Revere to visit. Streets that defy change and challenge “progress”. These neighborhoods are magnets to those with financial standing. Neighborhoods like the North End, Charlestown, parts of the South End and Cambridge remain the most sought after addresses.
Visitors come to Boston expecting a link to history and are not disappointed. Visitors line-up to visit Fenway Park a 100 year old park that functionally is not comparable to some of the better minor league baseball parks in America. But still they come. In the 1950s the North End and the West End of Boston were aging similar neighborhoods. In the 1950s the North End was not considered for rehabilitation because there were more desirable sections (West End) of the city that could be developed. In the 60 years that have past since those days; the North End remains on the freedom trail and the West End remains in the archives at the Boston Public Library. The North End was, is and will continue to be the cultural flagship of Boston.
There is no doubt the City of Boston has found a delicate balance between the growth of “sky scrapers” and the preservation of its heritage. Lowell, a much smaller city, is a reflection of Boston. It to has a heritage it chooses to keep and honor. It to is struggling to balance growth and keep its assets. In comparison, Boston has what Lowell does not have. It has scale. But then again, Lowell has what Boston will never have. Lowell has the Merrimack River, the Pawtucket Falls Dam, the National Historic Park and many buildings remaining from the days of the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Paul Revere did not ride down Merrimack Street yelling “the Brits are coming” while the historians in the background recorded his contribution to this country. And neither did he help dig the canals or develop the machines that made Lowell the great innovator the rest of the world had to copy. This, in essence, is Lowell’s contribution to the Commonwealth, to the country, and to the world. And all of this we are willing to sacrifice for a pittance.
John A Nappi Sr / Activists
I remain committed to stop this foolishness