Riverwalk: A Brief History and the Future Landscape

During the fall of 2016, Zachary Berger Associates was commissioned to design a new landscape for the residences at Riverwalk: The Lofts along the Merrimack River. The scale of this repurposed textile mill project is enormous and as we have delved into conceptualizing the future landscape, our critical thinking circuits have been stretched and challenged. We are thrilled to play a small role in the ongoing revitalization of the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

1905-1906: The American Woolen Company built the largest textile mill in the world along the Merrimack River- six stories tall and 1,300 feet long. This enabled the complete textile manufacturing cycle of worsted wool from raw materials to the finished fabric to be accomplished under one roof! The company prospered well into the mid-1940’s largely due to government contracts during the two World Wars.

2004-2017:  Salvatore Lupoli, entrepreneur and visionary began bringing the previously abandoned Wood Mill complex back as a Live-Work-Play concept.

One of our biggest challenges is accommodating over 30 acres of parking space

Possibly the largest privately-funded geothermal project in the U.S., The Lofts provide energy efficient and comfortable residential living with easy access to Boston via the MTBA commuter rail. Commercial space includes medical offices as well as the #1 commercial solar photovoltaic inverter supplier in the United States, Solectria. We are currently working on the first phase of the landscape, that of The Lofts. Our design goals include plenty of exercise space for the resident dogs (about 70 total as of the latest count!), a sunken garden, vegetable growing space as well as a living wall. We have also been asked to design a cohesive entry garden and sign for the main campus to tie-in with our plans for the residential end of the complex. We will add more updates as the project moves along!