I don’t live far from Lowell, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire; both mid-sized cities with historical significance far outweighing their size. These places housed some of the first and largest textile mills from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Several of these mill complexes are still standing; having been converted to loft housing or offices with well-preserved exteriors. The mill buildings are massive, usually three stories high and grouped in close clusters. As a photographer, I find myself drawn to the pattern of windows, contrasting red brick against blue skies and reflections in the neighboring waterways.
No mill I have photographed has captured my fancy more than the Cheshire Mills in Harrisville, NH. This mill town has been preserved so well (due most to its continuous operation until 1970) that it’s been designated as a National Historic Landmark site. While the history of the town is absolutely intriguing, what I love the most is just how beautiful it is in person. The town surrounds a mill built beside a downtown pond and the reflections of the buildings are stunning. https://historicharrisville.org/history/
Farmhouse and Industrial Chic Style
The clean lines, brick walls, visible pipes and large windows in the old mill exteriors provide visual inspiration for industrial chic decor. Even if you don’t live in a loft space or converted barn, you too can achieve the same look by choosing furniture and fixtures that feature distressed/sleek surfaces and masculine lines that mirror the historic mill buildings.
I love them, don’t you?