More commonly known as “The Old Worthen,” the historic Worthen House is the oldest restaurant and tavern in Lowell, Massachussetts.
The Worthen House was established in 1898. The bar’s most notable features are the belt-linked fan system, which is the only existing set in its original building in the country and the 19th century pressed tin ceiling. A few notable patrons are said to have included Edgar Allan Poe, Jack Kerouac, and Jimmy Breslin. In 1989, “Lowell’s Oldest,” was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
I decided to photograph the Worthen on my most recent “drive-by”. That’s where I drive home and decide to stop somewhere to photograph something. Some drive-bys are more fruitful than others. Drive-bys are also easier in any season other than winter. Between the sun setting around 4:00PM and temperatures often in the teens, it’s tough to get motivated to shoot – especially after a day at work.
The results are in this post.
After the last final exam we would migrate to the Worthen and (depending on academic prowess) either celebrate or drown our sorrows. Not surprisingly, whichever end of the IQ scale we were, the results were the same. Pass or fail we all crawled out of the bar.
At that time the tables were booths. The booths were carved with peoples names dating back decades. In the early 80’s (if I recall correctly) the bar underwent a renovation. The booths were removed and replaced with tables. The decor changed too. They actually hung plants. Much to our chagrin, the Old Worthen became a “Fern Bar.” It had a decidedly “yuppie” feel to it.
Last night was my first visit to the inside of the Worthen since the early 80’s. I was happy to see that it more closely resembled the Worthen I knew in college. The highlights of this gem are clearly the old tin ceiling and belt driven ceiling fan system.
Since that night, I returned to the Worthen to meet the owner and take more pictures. The full gallery:
You can purchase any of these images at my Smugmug Site.
You can check out more of my HDR work on my SmugMug site.