Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2015


Bates Mill #5 has stood as a symbol of innovation in downtown Lewiston Maine

since 1914 when it was completed. It has been vacant since the early 2000s when the remnants of the Bates Manufacturing Company moved their textile operation to Monmouth, Maine. The city of Lewiston seized Mill #5 in 1992 for unpaid taxes and has been grappling with how to reuse the property since then. In order to discuss the possible futures of Mill #5, it is important to have an understanding of the situation as it stands today; what has recently been done with the building and what efforts have been made to resolve the issues surrounding it. An examination of the various reasons development was not pursued as well as the people who have been working towards a future for the mill provide an important context for discussing the potential fate of the mill. Equally as important is an understanding of the layout of the building as well as its history. Finally, it is important to have a clear model of the cycle of innovation which can be used to examine the past and the future of the Mill. Mill #5 has undergone several iterations of this cycle and in order to discuss whether the mill can progress it must be established where in the cycle Mill #5 is currently located. Each of these explorations provide context and help inform a meaningful discussion of the possible futures for Bates Mill #5.