Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ken Coffin

One of the nicest things about the article that ran in The Sun is that I got a good number of emails out of it from people who had never stumbled upon my site before.  One of those people was Ken Coffin, who worked as a photographer with City Fair in Lowell in the late 1970s into the early 1980s.  As he doesn't have the world's fastest internet connection, he has been gradually sending me some of the photos he took during that time period, and has allowed me to host them and share them.

Ken was born in Lowell in 1948, and grew up in Dracut.  He worked for 20 years with MA/Com on Chelmsford St and is now retired and living in Hillsborough, NH. Photography has been his avocation and vocation since he was six, and he amassed a modest collection of Lowell photos from 1975-1990. These pictures were taken while he worked for a CETA program called 'City Fair'  in the late 1970s into the early 1980s when the Urban National Park was first created.  This is the same era as these areal photos (note: at the moment this link appears broken):

If you are not familiar with City Fair or the CETA, Paul Marion over at briefly mentioned the programs in a recent blog post.

Some of my favorites from his collection are:

Dynamo, Tremont Mill

Mill Fire, Market St

Demolition of the flatiron building at the fork of Central and Prescott, where they recently installed that bell monument.  John Kerry ran his first campaign from this building:

I would love to get a set of names to these faces. Discussion:

Pretty sure that's Paul Tsongas on the right...

And, the entire album:

Ken Coffin

I'd like to thank Ken again for granting me access to these photos. If you'd like to contact him, his email address is


  1. Great photos. In the Tsongas picture, it's former Congressman Jim Shannon, former Lowell Mayors Ray Rourke and Sam Pollard, and Paul Tsongas. I re-posted the larger group picture on and asked readers to ID everyone.

  2. Corey, this blog is pretty awesome. Especially since I am a lifelong Lowell resident (minus the excurision of going off to college). Keep it up!

  3. Corey, what is the article that ran in the Sun? Is it still available online?


  4. That's really something to see that shot of the turbine in the Tremont Mill having just visited the basement of the new new JDCU today.

  5. I know! There was some disagreement over what mill that dynamo shot was taken in. When I saw that yesterday, I took a picture of the photograph...I'll get them up eventually.