History of Hatch Street

The Hatch Street Studios are located in the heart of the historic Nashawena Mill District in the north end of New Bedford, MA. It was once revered as one of the most productive textile districts in the region, and is now home to the Joseph Abboud clothing factory.


The mill district has a compelling history. French-Canadian women were especially likely to work in the mills since the Canadians tended to immigrate in families. Some girls began work by the time they were 7 years old. Mothers worked, as parishes established day care for the youngest children. The workday extended from 5:00 AM and continued with short breaks until 7:30 PM. New Bedford became a leading producer of cotton products.

New Bedford mill buildings faced some tough times as textile businesses moved south and then overseas. Small businesses began to move into some of the mills including 88 and 90 Hatch Street, which housed a cryogenics business until very recently. 

Currently the grande stone and brick mill buildings in the north end of New Bedford are experiencing a renaissance as many are being converted into luxury condominiums and assisted-living facilities. 

Now, the 88 Hatch Street mill provides beautiful, large studio spaces for nearly 30 artists and designers working in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fine furniture, jewelry, fiber art and clothing design, sculpture, antiques restoration, and more.