Work continues at the Middlesex Superior Courthouse on Gorham Street in Lowell, where an elevator is being constructed to bring the building into full compliance with contemporary rules of accessibility. For the past several decades, as series of chair lifts and ramps have served as an inadequate substitute for an elevator. Even though the state tried to avoid construction of this device due to the imminent (????) construction of the new courthouse in the Hamilton Canal District, the state’s Architectural Access Board required that construction proceed at the existing courthouse. The elevator will be within an external tower and will service the first and second floors of the building. Due to security concerns, the general public will not have access to the elevator (the main entrance will continue to be at the front door on Gorham Street) but folks with mobility limitations will be allowed to enter the building directly from the Elm Street parking lot using this elevator. The job is supposed to be finished in November.
UPDATE: Since writing this post I’ve learned that the elevator will not have access to the ground level outside the building. Instead, those with mobility issues will still have to ascend the unsightly ramp at the front of the building and pass through security at that entrance. Once inside, there will be access to the elevator which will only go between the first and second floors.