The University of Massachusetts Lowell is known for its three separate campuses: North, South and East. North is known as the science, business, and engineering campus, while South is known for arts and humanities as well as health sciences. Meanwhile, East is just a residence campus. But what many people don't know is that there used to be a fourth campus, and of course, that campus was, you guessed it: West.
That's right, West campus is actually not a myth. Located on Princeton Street in Chelmsford, it's UMass Lowell's least talked about and most forgotten campus.
Gould Hall at UMass Lowell's West Campus
Before UML acquired the campus, the grounds were part of a truancy school for boys of Middlesex county from 1894-1973. Basically, it was kind of like a boarding school/boot camp that misbehaving boys went to and worked on the farm on the property. There are rumors of the boys being treated very poorly and numerous accounts of boys trying to escape only to be hunted down, brought back, and punished. Eventually, the school closed down, and Wang Laboratories purchased the property, planning to build their headquarters there, but for some reason that never happened, so UML acquired the main buildings and sold the farmland to a developer that ended up building condominiums on it.
The main five buildings were used for the Graduate School of Education up until about the mid-1990s. They consisted of Bigelow, Read, Upham, Gould, and Richardson Halls.
Aerial map of UMass Lowell's West Campus today minus Read Hall which was destroyed in a summer fire. (Yes, I covered up the street names, sorry guys.)
These buildings were used until the buildings didn't pass inspection anymore and were deemed unfit and unsafe to hold classes in, and UMass Lowell did not want to spend the money to make the repairs, so as a result, the Graduate School of Education was moved back to South Campus and the buildings were left abandoned-- all except for one. Bigelow Hall is being leased out and used as an office building, supposedly to a facility for troubled girls called the Robert F. Kennedy school.
Read Hall also no longer exists. The building caught fire due to unknown causes during the summer of 2013 and did not survive.
Aside from the used building closest to the entrance of the campus, the rest of the property is known to have an eerie kind of feel to it. Buildings are boarded up and there are 90s computers, record players, and old school supplies just left untouched in the buildings. There are also old books and toys scattered throughout the floors and graffiti on the walls.
Books scattered across the floor of Gould Hall.
Children's toys and VCR tapes scattered by the entrance of Gould Hall.
There are rumors of the grounds being haunted, but there is no known reason aside from maybe the boys' emotions and treatment from the old truancy school days. The campus is featured in a book by Renee Mallet called Haunted Colleges & Universities of Massachusetts along with Leitch Hall.
A hallway in one of the abandoned buildings.
Today, the buildings remain unlisted on the UMass Lowell website and campus maps. After the fire of 2013, there are rumors that the remaining unused buildings are being scheduled for demolition since they are considered a safety and fire hazard. The grounds and constantly subject to trespassing.
A "No Tresspassing" sign on a fence right down the front driveway by Bigelow Hall.
Bigelow Hall on West Campus.
A classroom inside Gould Hall with graffiti on the walls.
A closet inside one of the abandoned buildings.
A vandalized classroom inside of Gould Hall.
Though this campus is rarely talked about and most students and faculty aren't even aware of its existence, it definitely remains an interesting part about UMass Lowell and is something that makes UML unique.
DISCLAIMER: All photos of West Campus were either submitted or found online. Please do not trespass onto this private property without proper permission from the owner. Trespassing is illegal.