We Are Lawrence

Renovation of Duck Mill begins

By Keith Eddings keddings@gmail.com 

LAWRENCE — The $29 million renovation of the former Duck Mill took flight Friday when 150 business and civic leaders gathered beside its ragged ruins to launch an effort to convert the building into 73 affordable apartments and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants.

That effort began weeks before Friday's groundbreaking ceremony, when crews began stripping the drab yellow paint off the five-story facade, uncovering the original red brick that is characteristic of the turn-of-the-century columns of mills on both sides of the Merrimack River from Newburyport to Lowell.