Belvidere Hill Historic District

The Belvidere Hill Historic District is the best-preserved example of Lowell's finer late 19th century residential neighborhoods.  The area's natural topography provided views across the city and encouraged the development of large, stylish residences.  Development of the Belvidere Hill area in the 1840s reflected the creation of new residential neighborhoods for Lowell's growing middle class of successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, and professionals.  The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and includes 128 structures.  In 2005, the Belvidere Hill Neighborhood District was created, utilizing the same National Register boundaries, requiring review by the Lowell Historic Board of demolition, partial demolition, and new construction projects.
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Originally part of Tewksbury, the area was known as Lynde's Hill and by the 1820s, three large farms occupied the area.  The 150 acre Gedney farm was one of the largest and in 1816, it was purchased by Judge Edward Livermore who renamed the property "Belvidere" which translates from Italian as "beautiful to behold."  In 1834, Belvidere Hill was annexed to Lowell from Tewksbury.

Development of Belvidere Hill was influenced by horse-drawn streetcar lines.  Lowell's first horse-drawn railway line ran along Pawtucket, Merrimack, and East Merrimack Streets to the base of Belvidere Hill in 1864.  By 1890, the line had been electrified and extended along Nesmith Street, further encouraging residential development in the area.
Most of the district's residences were built over a 100 year period from 1845 to 1945.  The first house lots were sold on the hill in the 1850s and 1860s while many other lots sold in the decades after the Civil War.  The homes in the district are important examples of the Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Colonial Revival styles.

Among the district's early residents were many of Lowell's leaders in business, political, and social affairs.  Successful merchants and professionals also built their homes on Belvidere Hill.

Belvidere Hill Historic District Map

Belvidere Hill Historic District Brochure

Belvidere Hill Neighborhood District Review and Permitting Requirements