jack kerouac locations

Posted on May 8, 2013 by peter bell

Born Jean-Louis Kerouac on March 12, 1922 to French-Canadian parents in the second-story apartment of a Lowell, MA home, Jack Kerouac became one of the preeminent writers (along with Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs) of what was later dubbed “the Beat generation.”

Before beatniks or hippies or even punk rock- this group of writers, poets and their associated characters became emblematic of a generation that rejected conventional culture in favor of their own personal, spiritual quest (literary, exploratory, chemically or otherwise).

The popularity of this movement was due in no small part to Jack Kerouac’s On The Road– first printed September 5, 1957 by Viking Press.  While Truman Capote may have famously panned the work by saying, “It isn’t writing at all-it’s typing,” few can argue about the legacy of a well-typed story.  Especially one that captures the zeitgeist of a generation, and fuels the passions of many still to come.

Here are some locations associated with the American writer, Jack Kerouac (thanks to popturf users corporate_sunshine, speedy_dee, and elvis_crabs for their contributions).

Lowell, MA

  • Jack Kerouac’s Birthplace– Jean-Louis Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922 in the second story apartment of 9 Lupine Road, Lowell, MA.
  • Lowell High School– The high school that Jack Kerouac attended.
  • Pollard Memorial Library– The library that Kerouac used to skip school to visit, and then returned to as an adult.
  • Morgan Cultural Center– This museum is dedicated to telling “the human story of Lowell” features Jack Kerouac’s typewriter, camping/traveling gear, and his well-worn backpack.
  • Nicky’s Bar– A bar that Kerouac frequented when he moved back to Lowell.
  • Kerouac Park– Located near the banks of the Merrimack River, Kerouac Park is dedicated to the writer.  It features the Jack Kerouac Commemorative- a series of tall, granite slabs with Kerouac’s writings engraved on them.
  • Jack Kerouac’s grave- Located at Edson Cemetery, Kerouac was laid to rest here after his death from cirrhosis complications on October 21, 1969.
  • The Jack & Stella Kerouac Center for American Studies– Founded posthumously by the executor of Kerouac’s estate, this extension of UMass provides a number of Kerouac-inspired legacies.


San Francisco, CA

  • The Beat Museum– Opened in 2003, this museum was built by passionate Beat fans for other Beat fans.  It features pictures, paintings, records, displays, and artifacts like Jack Kerouac’s jacket and a replica of the 1949 Hudson car from On the Road.
  • City Lights Bookstore– The home base and ground zero for the San Francisco Beat movement.
  • Vesuvio Cafe– A favorite watering hole of the Beats.
  • Jack Kerouac Alley– Between the City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco, this alley was renamed to honor the writer in 1998.
  • Six Gallery (former)- The location of the art gallery where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl while Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy listened in the audience.


St. Petersburg, FL

  • Haslam’s Book Store- The bookstore that Kerouac used to frequent while living in St. Petersberg.
  • The Flamingo Bar– The bar that Kerouac used to frequent towards the end of his life- currently offers a “Kerouac Special- Shot and a Wash” and Kerouac-inspired events.
  • Jack Kerouac’s last house– Kerouac was living in this house when he thought he had “eaten a bad tuna sandwich” (internal hemorrhaging from cirrhosis complications).
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