Greater City Providence

PPS Call for 2010 Most Endangered Properties Nominations

Photo of 342 Williams Street, Fox Point borrowed from Forgotten Providence

The Providence Preservation Society is calling for nominations for their 2010 Most Endangered Properties list.

Every year, the Providence Preservation Society compiles the Most Endangered Properties List with the help of concerned members of the public who submit their nominations. Most resources on the list represent an important aspect of local community life and character. The sites reflect threats such as deterioration, neglect, insufficient funds, insensitive public policy and inappropriate development – problems that frequently threaten properties throughout Providence.

The purpose of this list is to generate interest and support for the preservation of these significant properties; educate the public about the benefits of historic preservation and the unique historic properties in our city; and work toward solutions with property owners, developers and other interested parties to bring about positive change in each property.

Generally, the Society lists buildings individually, but have in the past been known to name groups of buildings. See 2009 when the Downtown Providence National Register District was listed and two structures, the Providence National Bank Façade and Teste Block, were nominated together.

This year, I plan to nominate en masse, all the houses in Providence being foreclosed on. I encourage others to follow my lead if so inclined. Randomly traveling the streets of Providence (or flipping through the pages at Forgotten Providence shows the toll the foreclosure crisis is having on us. This is a preservation problem beyond buildings, the displacement of people (both owners and renters) decimates communities. Living somewhere littered with abandoned buildings is… is… well, it’s depressing.

I’m not an economist nor a real estate expert, but I have to believe there are creative ways to hold onto these buildings, to allow people to continue living in them, and protect them from rotting away. Stimulus money, co-ops, non-profit trusts, squatting… something. I think PPS shining a light on these buildings is a good start for the creative thinking process we need to have to figure out how to end this neglect.

Visit this page to download a nomination form. Nominations are due by February 19th.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

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