Now, the Nesmith House stands as a showcase not just for the college, but for the city of Lowell as well. ▲ MCC Foundation, Nesmith’s home was purchased in 1994, with a plan by the college to restore it as a Designer Showhouse. But a daunting restoration lay ahead. The state of the building’s interior was deplorable, and was seen by many as almost unsalvageable. Laurence Lister, a local contractor, was asked to take a look at the Nesmith House project. He remembered the first time he stepped inside the building. “I walked into the place, there were no walls, no floors, no ceilings, and they asked me, ‘Can you do it?’ I said, ‘You’re damn right we can do it,’ and all of the guys looked at me like I was crazy,” Lister recalled. “I was a fourth generation plasterer, I saw this as a great challenge, and I’m proud to say the team got it done. Now, we can look at that building as a monument to what we’ve done, because it’s going to be there long after we’re gone.” It was because of Lister’s skilled craftsmanship on the project that he was asked to join the MCC team as Assistant Director of Facilities Management. Since its opening, the Nesmith House has played host to hundreds of functions including weddings, cocktail parties, society events, and college, corporate and community meetings of all types. With that real estate acquisition in its rear-view mirror, the Foundation began exploring ways to raise the profile of Middlesex, to expand its alumni base, and extend its fund-raising reach. “Carole and I were having discussions about different directions we could take things in for the college, and we believed that in addition to new properties, we were going to need programs that would highlight what the college was doing,” said Henderson. “These would focus some positive energy on the school. And we were going to need someone to lead that outreach for us.” 87