Friday, July 5, 2013

At Work in the Mill

Although I'm still musing over my oatmeal, I also have a new writing space. This is the view from where I'm sitting now in the old Judd Paper Company building along the canal in Holyoke, MA. The building was opened in 1883, destroyed by fire, then rebuilt in 1922. I'm not sure what the building is across the canal, but likely another paper company. Holyoke used to be known as the Paper City. Vitek Kruta has done an amazing job recreating this space to become Gateway City Arts--"flexible, affordable co-working space for artists and creatives."

I am loving this space. First, it's a place away from most of the distractions that keep me from writing more consistently, but, even more so, because of the building itself. The history is everywhere from the beautiful hard maple floors to the bronze plaque commemorating the appreciation of the employees to the Judd family.

Today I'm appreciating the ivy-covered walls across the way. I've always loved the look of them, how the green softens the hard brick, how the leaves dance in the breeze, but I had thought they were bad news for brick buildings, but I just read in an Oxford University study, that the ivy actaully acts as a thermal shield and insulation, and also protects against pollution.  It seems the damage comes only when there is already some crumbling of the brick or stone work. This allows  the ivy tendrils to get into the wall, and that is how damage is done, but if the wall is solid, it's a benefit.

It's 92+ degrees today, and I'm thinking the mill workers back in the days before air conditioning likely appreciated the green insulation.


  1. Congrats on your new space!


  2. How wonderful to know this space is now a haven! What progress women have made since they first looked out your mill window!
    Enjoy the space - for yourself, and for them!
    Linda O.

  3. What a beautiful looking spot. There are so many gems in Holyoke and I'm really optimistic that it's going to continue chugging along, slowly but surely.