The Lorax Moves to Lawrence

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The doors to Dr. Seuss’ childhood home will find a new home in Lawrence, MA, at New England’s largest eco-friendly residential development, Monarch on the Merrimack (http://www.monarchlofts.com).

When Monarch is complete, the environmental impact of its 600 geothermal lofts will be the equivalent of planting 600 acres of trees each year

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The doors to Dr. Seuss’ childhood home will find a new home in Lawrence, MA, at New England’s largest eco-friendly residential development, Monarch on the Merrimack (http://www.monarchlofts.com).

Theodor “Ted” Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield, MA. After attending Dartmouth and Oxford, Ted returned to Springfield where he began his career as an illustrator for Saturday Evening Post, Life, and Vanity Fair. With the release of The Cat in the Hat in 1957, he became a genre-defining children’s book author and illustrator. His honors included two Academy awards, two Emmys, a Peabody, and the Pulitzer Prize.

The Geisel house was demolished several years ago despite its landmark status. “My children are huge fans of Dr. Seuss, and we had recently read The Lorax,” said Robert Ansin, CEO of sustainable development company MassInnovation. “I realized that it would be wonderful to have a tangible connection to this great man and his ideas, and to be able to share this with the public.”

The Lorax (1971) is an allegory about the conflict between industry and ecology. The Lorax is a “mossy, bossy” creature who “speaks for the Truffula trees” because “the trees have no voice” and the Once-ler is a short-sighted businessman who carelessly destroys the local environment in his quest for profit and by doing so puts his own company out of business.

“For me, the message of The Lorax was that what’s good for the environment can also be good for business,” said Ansin.

The Lorax has special resonance for Ansin, who is converting Lawrence’s iconic Wood Mill into Monarch on the Merrimack, 600 luxury riverside lofts built on sustainable development principles. Monarch incorporates a number of features that would make the Lorax proud, from a ‘green roof’ featuring indigenous plantings, to the transformation of the current parking lot into an 8 acre waterfront park designed by Copley Wolff, who is designing the Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Monarch will be powered by geothermal exchange; no fossil fuels will be burned to heat or cool the building. Beyond the cost savings to homeowners (it is 30-50% cheaper than conventional systems), each loft that uses geoexchange reduces greenhouse gases by the equivalent of planting an acre of trees each year. “When Monarch is complete, the environmental impact of its 600 geothermal lofts will be the equivalent of planting 600 acres of trees each year,” said Ansin.

No word on how that converts to Truffula trees.

When the mill was built in 1906, it was the largest building of its kind on the planet – almost a third of a mile long with almost 30 acres under one roof. Even today, it is described as a ‘horizontal skyscraper.’ The doors from Dr. Seuss’ childhood home will be incorporated into Monarch’s art gallery space, where there are monthly cultural and environmental events. Ansin will hold a reading of The Lorax at the Mill as part of the events to be held at Monarch on Earth Day 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Shaw Rosen, Director of Communications MassInnovation

978 289 2639

Monarch Lofts 250 Merrimack Street, Lawrence MA     

http://www.monarchlofts.com
PDF press kit available upon request

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