PPS 2014 Historic Preservation Awards
On Friday, November 7, 2014 the Providence Preservation Society (PPS) will recognize the recipients of the 2014 Historic Preservation Awards. The PPS Historic Preservation Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses that have maintained and enhanced the architectural heritage of Providence through preservation projects and new design. Eight preservation projects located throughout Providence will receive awards.
In addition to those projects receiving awards, PPS is honoring an individual whose vision for preservation transformed the Brown and Sharpe Company manufacturing complex into a thriving mixed use development. The late Antonio Guerra, who passed away on October 11, will receive a posthumous Community Preservation Award. Mr. Guerra purchased the complex shortly after Brown and Sharpe moved out in the 1960s, redeveloping the site’s many industrial buildings into The Foundry Corporate Office Center and Promenade Apartments. Mr. Guerra was previously recognized in the Providence Preservation Society’s 50th Anniversary Hall of Fame in 2006.
The PPS Historic Preservation Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, November 7, at 4:00pm on the first floor of the Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street, Providence. The Awards are being held in coordination with PPS’ Providence Symposium, Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience, November 6-8. To register, visit www.providencesymposium.com. Tickets for the awards ceremony and reception are free, but advance registration is required.
With a bid of approximately $6.9 million, J.H. Lynch & Sons submitted the lowest of five proposals for the construction work. Bids were opened Friday at the R.I. Division of Purchasing office on Capitol Hill.
State officials will take about two months to review the bids and certify the winning bid.
This project will address the deplorable conditions of the plaza areas around the station, repairs to the garage roof (which is the plaza), and improve pedestrian, bike, bus, and auto connections between the station and Kennedy Plaza.
We should likely expect work to begin in the spring 2015 construction season.
RIDOT recently was awarded a TIGER grant to design a new intermodal bus station at the train station. Voters will be asked to approve the purchase of bonds through Question 6 to further that project to reality.
A recent controversy instigated by the Pawtucket City Council betrays a shortsightedness that runs counter to the city’s effort to revitalize its downtown. City council members have proposed removing the leaky tower that rises above City Hall instead of repairing it.
Taking down the tower — a 1933 Art Deco landmark that decorates the building in which the mayor’s office is housed, a structure on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983 — would be a serious error in judgment, proof that the council members entrusted with the responsibility to promote and enhance Pawtucket have neither instinct for how to jump-start the local economy nor vision of what the city can become.
I’d contribute to a “Save the Pawtucket City Hall Tower” Kickstarter.
In order to make space for the University’s new engineering building — construction of which is set to begin in December 2015, four houses included in the city’s historic district have been slated for demolition.
The buildings, located at 37 and 29 Manning Street and 341 and 333 Brook Street, were constructed in the early 1900s and were later acquired by the University and converted into business and academic spaces, said Mike McCormick, assistant vice president of planning, design and construction. McCormick and a group of University administrators collaborated with the Public Archaeology Lab to learn about these buildings’ histories in preparation for the planning and design of the new engineering building.
But the Providence Preservation Society “opposes the demolition of the four houses” due to their “historical” and “architectural value,” said Brent Runyon, executive director of PPS. The buildings also contribute to “the development of College Hill as a neighborhood,” he added.
I’ve been hearing the same refrain lately when it comes to less than stellar development proposals in Providence, ‘it may not be great, but it is better than what is there now.’ The McDonald’s and Family Value in Olneyville is cited as better than the vacant lot that is there now. The LA Fitness on North Main is seen as better than the vacant building that is there now. And on it goes, there’s a defeatest attitude around here about having nice things.
As CVS starts to expand into Washington State, one Seattle neighborhood saw the company’s proposal and asked if they could build something better. Unlike CVS’s recent store back here at home in Edgewood, the company building the new store, The Velmeir Cos., said, ‘sure, let’s figure it out.’
The original proposal was for a one-story CVS at what the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce describes as a high profile corner is Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood.
As part of the Re: Zoning process, the City of Providence has designated a new historic landmarks district. Also, the City will remove buildings which have been demolished form the Industrial and Commercial Buildings District; which begs the question, why is there and ICBD if buildings in it are getting demolished? From the City:
New designation protects historic properties outside boundaries of existing historic districts; residents should seek designation by August 11, 2014
Mayor Angel Taveras announced today the City of Providence will create a new Historic Landmarks District to strengthen its preservation efforts and as part of the city’s Zoning Ordinance revision.
“We are working creatively to preserve Providence’s historic architecture,” said Mayor Taveras. “The new Providence Landmarks District will protect individual properties that having historic significance but that are not within local historic districts.”
The Providence Landmarks District will be composed primarily of residential and ecclesiastical buildings, function like other City historic districts, and include design review and demolition protections. The owners of these historic sites, such as those that have been recognized by the Providence Preservation Society, can ask that their property be designated as a Providence Landmark and request their building be included in the new district. Property owners interested in having their building designated should contact the Department of Planning and Development before August 11, 2014.
In addition to creating the Landmarks District, the City is modifying two of its existing historic districts: the Industrial and Commercial Buildings District and the Jewelry Local Historic District. Changes include adding about 30 properties to the Industrial and Commercial Buildings District, removing properties that have been demolished, and removing overlapping jurisdiction with the Downtown Design Review Committee in Downtown.
The Interstate 195 Redevelopment Commission Monday heard presentations from two developers with plans for the east side of the former highway land.
Royal Oaks LLC, a group led by Richard Baccari II, vice president of Providence-based Churchill & Banks, is pitching a project south of Wickenden Street, adjacent to existing Churchill & Banks properties in the Fox Point neighborhood.
After Royal Oaks, Carpionato Group of Johnston was slated to present its plan for the Connection at College Hill, an 850,000-square-foot apartment, retail, hotel and pharmaceutical research complex on nearly 6 acres and multiple parcels stretching across Wickenden.
The Carpionato Group proposal has been discussed before here.
Also see in the PBN article, the two developers who presented to the 195 Commission at the last meeting do not plan to construct any parking for their projects.
ProJo reports that the City Council has approved a tax-stabilization agreement for the Capitol Cove building in Capital Center. The building will continue to house Johnson & Wales dormitories but the developer hopes to build a 169-unit apartment building next door.
The City Council gave initial approval Wednesday night to change in a tax treaty with the new owners of the Capitol Cove complex on Canal Street to let the building continue as a rented college dormitory, a move the developers said was needed to get financing for a new 169-unit apartment project they want to build on a vacant lot next door.
Added to the 134-units the owners of the Regency are planning and the real estate market appears to be showing signs of recovery in Providence.
PVD Historic District Commission denies application to demolish Ward Baking/Victory Plating building in Jewelry District.
— Patrick Anderson (@andersonpbn) June 23, 2014
A noteworthy piece of the city’s industrial past is threatened with demolition as the owner of the Ward Baking Co. administration building Monday will seek permission from the city’s Historic District Commission to tear down the structure.
Preservationists consider the building a noteworthy remnant of the city’s industrial past and have rallied before to save the structure at 145 Globe St., which sits across Route 95 from the South Side hospital complex.
Richard Lappin, co-owner of Regency Plaza LLC and president of Lisco Development, said the new building would be either five or six stories, but declined to go into more detail because of the early stage of the project.
The owners are asking the City Plan Commission, at their meeting this evening, to abandon part of the width of Broadway (as well as the right turn lane from the Service Road) to make way for the project.
The R.I. House Finance Committee did not include historic tax credits in the proposed budget fr next year. The Providence Presevation Society has issued the following call to action:
Last year, the State Historic Tax Credit Program was reinstated, and 26 new projects are underway – including the rehab of the Tirocchi House on Broadway and the George C. Arnold Building in Downtown Providence!
However, there are 27 additional projects throughout the state still waiting to receive credits. Without funding for Historic Tax Credits, most of these projects will not happen. This would mean the loss of nearly $160 million in construction activity, an investment of jobs and revenue which our economy desperately needs. Rhode Island’s Historic Tax Credit program has an excellent track record. From 2002 to 2008, it generated $1.3 billion in new private investment in Rhode Island’s real-estate economy. This resulted in 22,000 construction jobs, 6,000 permanent jobs, and total wages of more than $800 million.
Last week, the House Finance Committee declined to recommend funding for this program. The House will take up the budget this week; only a groundswell of voices from around the state will convince representatives to include Historic Tax Credits in the budget. Time is short – immediate advocacy is needed.
PPS supports Preserve Rhode Island’s efforts to restore the State Historic Tax Credit. Contact your Representative in General Assembly to ask them to urge the Speaker of the House, Nicholas A. Matiello, and the Chairman of the House Finance Committee, Raymond E. Gallison, to pass a budget that includes funding for Historic Tax Credits. Email or call your Representative before Wednesday, June 11th (they are expected to act on the budget on Thursday).
We also urge you to contact Speaker Matiello’s office directly:
House of Representatives
State House, Room 323
Providence, RI 02903
401-222-2466 • Repfirstname.lastname@example.org
Director, Office of House Policy
Room B43, State House
Providence, RI 02903
401-258-1760 • email@example.com
The Carpionato Group, who recently submitted a proposal to the 195 Commission to develop the former highway land, has to date not developed a previous acquisition of prime Providence real estate — the former historic Fruit and Produce Warehouse.
Following its purchase of the warehouse from the state — and controversial demolition of the historic property in 2008 — Carpionato, the Johnston-based commercial real estate firm, had presented plans to turn the former fruit market into a mixed used office, retail and hotel development, which have not materialized. The city granted Carpionato preliminary approval for a surface parking lot at the location in 2013.
The Procaccianti Group is expected to announce plans Tuesday to “build a premium-branded upscale extended-stay hotel” in Providence, right across the street from the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, on the site of what is now the John E. Fogarty Memorial Building.
Paul Sacco, chief development officer for PGI Hospitality, said the project “represents a $40-million private investment in Providence.”
TPG already has a 7-year old ‘temporary’ surface parking lot at the site of the Old Public Safety Complex just down the block.
At their May 28th meeting, the Zoning Board of Review will consider a proposal by Manni Realty and Admiral Smith Realty, LLC (owners of the building LaSalle Bakery on Admirial is in) to demolish three residential buildings for expanded parking said to support LaSalle Bakery.
MANNI REALTY, LLC, OWNER OF LOT 197 AND ADMIRAL SMITH REALTY, LLC, OWNER OF LOTS 198, 200 & 201: 685 Admiral Street (Lot 198, consisting of 8,184 square feet of land area), 697 Admiral Street (Lot 200, consisting of 3,100 square feet of land area), 782 River Avenue (Lot 197, consisting of 4,400 square feet of land area) and 85 Crandall Street (Lot 201, consisting of 3,600 square feet of land area) on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 79, Lot 198 is located in a Limited Commercial C-1 Zone and Lots 197, 200 & 201 are located in a Residential R-2 Two-Family Zone; filed an application requesting Use and Dimensional Variances pursuant to Section 200, seeking to demolish the existing residential structures on Lots 197, 200 & 201 and constructing two (2) parking areas to support the existing bakery located on Lot 198.
Built in 1907, this magnificent building was designed as a focal point around which much of the West End of Providence was developed. The Armory has been on the Providence Preservation Society’s Most Endangered Properties List five times over the last twenty years, and the State funds to repair the Dexter Street tower are essential to maintaining the integrity of this landmark building. According to the WBNA, work was scheduled to begin last week, and a contractor had already been hired by the State (owner of the building).
This building has the potential to be a significant economic development generator for the state of Rhode Island (and the neighborhood) but only if repairs are made to it. The plans are prepared, the project was bid and the contractor hired. It makes no sense to stop the project now when all the planning work is done. Your ACTIONS could make the difference and please ask your neighbors to also act for this castle for the people.
Please help WBNA and PPS advocate for Cranston Street Armory by sending an email to the officials listed below urging them to reinstate the funds for the exterior repair to the Armory.
|Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, May 12, 2014 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903
1. DRC Application No. 14.8: 20 Westminster Street (Merchants Bank Building) Proposal to create ten (10) new wall openings for the installation of new windows on the east façade; and to create a new opening for the installation of a new a new egress door on the Jerry Street (alley) elevation of the building.
A special meeting of the Providence Historic District Commission will be held on Monday, May 5, at 4:15 pm at 444 Westminster to vote on a demolition application for the General Electric Base Plant complex at 586 Atwells Avenue. Built c. 1916, the GE Base Plant stands as a fine expression of post-World War I industrial architecture, and according to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission the plant was once the largest producer of lamp bases in the world – employing 500 people at the Atwells Avenue site.