Eames Hall: women's tent dorm protest, 1970

A tent and sign protesting the lack of a women's dorm in front of Eames Hall, 1970

When Eames and Smith Halls were constructed in 1947 as the first dormitories for what was then called the Lowell Textile Institute, neither of them were available to women residents. By the late 1960s, more and more women were entering the fields of science, engineering, and business and enrolled in much larger numbers in the textile school's newest iteration as Lowell Technical Institute (LTI). The change in name, that occurred in 1953, reflected an expansion from a focus on textiles to a much broader curriculum that included programs in plastics, leather, paper, and electronics technology as well as an increase in the liberal arts (6).

In the Spring of 1970, several Lowell Tech female students protested the lack of housing and slept for several nights in tents on the grounds in front of Cumnock Hall. As a result, the next year the administration opened a few dorm rooms for women in a small cottage on Standish Street behind Lydon Library. A few years later, Eames Hall was refitted as the first on-campus female dormitory.

 

 

(6) Univversity of Massachusetts Lowell, "History of the College", retrieved from http://www.uml.edu/Engineering/About/history.aspx