Pausing for Gratitude

“What Lowell needs is a makerspace.”

When Kamal Jain said this to John Noto over drinks in the Worthen seven years ago, our trio of co-founders (which also includes Eric Sack) likely never imagined the scene we witnessed at Lowell Makes on November 20th, 2020. From 8am to almost 4pm, our movers hauled ten-truck loads of tools and equipment from our rented Lee St. basement, across town to our permanent home on Western Avenue.

Even when we purchased the building at Western Avenue in May, in the first wave of a pandemic, we weren’t sure we would reach this day. So much seemed uncertain and our big 11,000 square foot warehouse felt very empty. Now that warehouse echoes a little less with full height walls, furniture, and tools. All of this has come together this year thanks to the support of:

  • Financing from Mass Development and the Lowell Development Financial Corporation;
  • Grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, and Eastern Bank;
  • In-kind donations from Nick Sarris, Gallagher & Cavanaugh LLP, the Onyx Room, and the Burlington MA Microsoft Store;
  • Generous gifts from Jim Mertes, Rikon Tools, Enterprise Bank, Kronos, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Qualcomm, and many individual supporters
  • Countless volunteer hours from Lowell Makes members – including members who started volunteering the very first night they joined, and members who have been with us from the beginning. Our members have been painting walls, cleaning, packing, and now unpacking. We are especially grateful for the care our members have shown by taking precautions to protect each other from COVID-19.

Tonight we are hosting a members meeting to formally welcome new and longtime members to the space, but on this #GivingTuesday we want to acknowledge all our supporters who made this possible.

Thank you.

Lowell still needs a makerspace, and we are so grateful that our community came together this year to help us grow. We hope you’ll continue to believe in our mission and support Lowell Makes – whether that’s by making a donation or joining our ranks!

What’s next?

Currently we are focused on unpacking and identifying short and long-term needs in the building.

We are fundraising for our next phase of buildout, launching in January, will include smaller, but no less important elements, including: some remaining electrical work, a new utility sink for our downstairs shops, some metal shop equipment, a sign to welcome visitors to our space, and a new ACCESSIBLE and VISIBLE front door facing our parking lot.

Take a look at our journey:

The warehouse a few months after we bought it – we’d sold about half of the large metal racks and were finalizing plans for walls.
Construction crew begins laying out the walls in the empty warehouse.
Framing in the Wood shop.
This door opens to our new state of the art Wood shop.
This view shows our new walls – now painted! – and the corner that will house our Cosplay shop. The open doors from left to right will be a spray room, a plastics chop shop, and the roasting room for Brew’d Awakening.
We have our work cut out for us! This view shows the shared common area to the left, the Ceramics shop in the back corner, and the lounge to the right. Our utility sink will also be located to the right.