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Restoring Bisbee: Lowell Americana project works to revive the Lowell District

Lowell District Shell Station
Posted at 6:25 AM, Jun 13, 2024

BISBEE, Ariz — The Lowell district in Bisbee has seen better days.

In the 1900's, the strip was full of activity with the town around it.

But when the mining companies moved out, so did that activity.

“I watched it systematically, literally, die to where it was just heartbreaking. This street had nothing going on it,” said long time Lowell resident, Jay Allen.

But as Bisbee has seen a renaissance in recent years, a group known as the, "Lowell Americana Project," has been restoring parts of the strip in their spare time.

"We're just out here on weekends, sometimes pulling together the different elements that we found and trying to remind Americans of their culture," said Dan Simonis, one of the volunteers behind the project.

The group gave the Shell station received upgrades like gas pumps and new paint before moving onto a mock radio station.

Plans for the radio station include call letters and even a rocket that Simonis says, they will tie to the roof of the building.

"Our main thing here, at least for me, is cultural preservation," said Simonis.

Jay Allen still lives on the strip, and volunteers his time and money to help with the project to restore his home.

“I’ve always pulled for the the comeback kid in a movie, and that's what Lowell is. It's a comeback kid,” says Allen.

More information including how you can donate to the Lowell Americana project can be found on their Facebook page.

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Blake Phillips is a reporter for KGUN 9. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Blake grew up in Sierra Vista. During his college tenure at the Missouri School of Journalism, Blake worked for the NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia. He is excited to return to a place he calls home and give back to the community in which he grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Blake by emailing blake.phillips@kgun9.com.

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