Erie Street, Historic Lowell – Bisbee, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

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Erie Street, Historic Lowell

A living snapshot of a different time in America is preserved and maintained by a community of volunteers. 


Visiting Erie Street is like walking into a 1950s post-apocalyptic landscape. From all that is immediately apparent, it could have been abandoned in a hurry and forgotten for half a century. Rusting cars, trucks, and an old Greyhound bus sit deserted along the street as if their passengers had suddenly vanished (or worse). 

Erie Street is most of what is left of Lowell, Arizona, a mining town incorporated into Bisbee in the early 1900s. Much of the town’s residential area was demolished to widen an open-pit copper mine. Losing most of its residents caused the commercial district to struggle, and many businesses failed as a result. Today, the street’s special curiosities include a Harley Davidson repair shop with a now-defunct gas pump and Sprouse Reitz Co., a department store that is nearly empty except for a few appliances and a whole pile of mannequin parts. 

Despite appearing untouched since its decline, further investigation reveals that Erie Street is continually restored by a vibrant and passionate community of residents and volunteers who want to remember a different America. So although you can no longer see a show at Lowell’s movie theater or pay $0.22 for gasoline, the Lowell Americana Project has made it possible to experience the street as a living snapshot of another time. And not everything on Erie Street is purely decorative—visit the Bisbee Breakfast Club for an excellent Huevos Rancheros.

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