Construction on Huntsville's Lowe Mill began in 1900, and the massive building opened in 1901. The building, with its 25,000 spindles, turned local cotton into cloth. A few years later, it was used as a cotton warehouse.
After World War II ended, the building housed the General Shoe Company, providing jobs for approximately 800 people and shoes for soldiers. Genesco closed in 1978, then the mill became a warehouse for Martin Industries. In 2001, the building was sold to its current owner, Research Genetics founder, Jim Hudson.
Today, Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment is the largest center for the arts in the Southeast. Hundreds of artists demonstrate and sell their crafts in booths covering three floors of the old building.
Last Saturday, Steph and I enjoyed wandering around all the booths and talking to the artists. We rode the vintage elevator and walked on wooden floors scarred by footsteps long faded. We came away with a tie-dyed t-shirt, aching feet, and much admiration for the artists there.
It makes me happy that this building is still being used, more than a century after Mr. Lowe's vision to build it.