Drawing by Janet Lambert Moore

The Proprietors of the Locks and Canal constructed the historic home at 243 Worthen Street in c. 1825. Incorporating both Federal (also known as Colonial) and Greek Revival characteristics, the home’s main features include:

  • An L-shaped plan (called an architectural ell) with 3 floors, 14 rooms, and 10 fireplaces
  • Granite foundation and front stairs
  • Double framed walls for insulation, complete with interior "pocket shutters"
  • Four tall chimneys located at the corners of the house.
  • Palladian motif (interior archways and exterior arched windows) with Greek Revival cornice returns (molding along roof line)


From c. 1825 to 1869, the WHMA was home to many of the leaders of Lowell’s and America’s Industrial Revolution. James McNeill Whistler was born in the house and his mother, Anna Whistler, is the subject of one of America’s most famous paintings, “Whistler’s Mother” (Arrangement in Black and Grey No. 1). These residents include:

Paul Moody (1823-1831)

Major George Washington Whistler (1834-1837), as well as his wife Anna and son James McNeill Whistler

George Brownell (1837-1845)

James Bicheno Francis (1845-1869)

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