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.
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.
Two notable items are on the June 25, 2014 Zoning Board of Review agenda.
First, the proposed McDonald’s and Family Dollar Store in Olneyville seeks variances from Zoning:
RPS ASSOCIATES, LLC: filed an application requesting a Dimensional Variance and Special Use Permit in order to construct two (2) new commercial buildings: a 4,316 square foot quick-serve restaurant with two (2) drive-thru lanes and an 8,400 square foot retail store, along with any associated site improvements on the property located at 48, 50 & 54 Plainfield Street and 4, 6, 10 & 14 Atwood Street (bounded by Dike St.), also known as Lots 46, 47, 66, 98, 99, 100 & 101 on Tax Assessor’s Plat 105; Lots 46, 66, 99 100 & 101 being located in a General Commercial C-2 Zone and Lots 47 & 98 being located in an Industrial M-1 Zone. The applicant is requesting a Dimensional Variance for relief from Sections 305, 305.1(Footnote 10), 425.2, 425.2(A), 425.2(B), 604.3 and 607.3, which are regulations governing front yard setback, landscaping, and freestanding menu board signs. Further, a Special Use Permit is sought pursuant to Section 303(5.0)-Use Codes 57.1 and 57.2, to construct the proposed new restaurant at over 2,500 gross square feet and to permit operation of two (2) drive-thru lanes in the C-2 Zone. Together, the lots in question contain approximately 64,295 square feet of land area.
Next, the Providence Preservation Society and others are appealing the Historic District Commission’s decision to allow the demolition of the GE plant on Atwells Avenue:
APPEAL FROM THE DECISION OF THE PROVIDENCE HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
APPELLANTS: Providence Preservation Society; Green Lot, LLC; Monohassett Mill Condominium Association; Clay Rockefeller; Eagle Square Condominium Association, Erik Bright; and Steelyard
PROPERTY OWNER: General Electric Company
SUBJECT PROPERTY: 586 Atwells Avenue, also known as Lots 282, 556, 657, 30 & 634 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 30
The Appellants are appealing the Decision of the Providence Historic District Commission issuing a Certificate of Appropriateness dated May 5, 2014, concerning the proposed demolition of the existing structure(s).
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.
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.
As RIPTA prepares to start running their new Rapid Bus service next month on North Main Street, the City Plan Commission is hearing a proposal to knock down a building to create 300 parking spaces on the street at the Pawtucket line.
Case No. 14-009MA – 1300 North Main Street The applicant is proposing to demolish an existing building to create a parking lot providing 300 spaces. The lot will serve a health club on an adjacent lot located in the City of Pawtucket
The building being considered for demolition is the old Sears building at the corner of North Main and White Streets across from Gregg’s (The Down Under Duck Pin bowling alley is on this site too, but I feel like it has already been demo’d? Art In Ruins does not say so).
This building would be removed to make way for 300 parking spaces in the City of Providence for an LA Fitness location being built mainly in Pawtucket at the corner of Ann Mary Street.
Yesterday, demolition began on the 1871 Alexander F. Adie House on Atwells Avenue, an historic building lining the streets of one of Providence’s most vibrant neighborhoods. There are supposed to be plans for a hotel in its place. As a community we need to remain vigilant to ensure that this site does not turn into another ‘temporary’ surface lot.
This is just the latest example of a repeated pattern – City Hall continues to turn a blind eye to the destruction of important historic buildings, and this disregard cannot continue. Too often, historic buildings are demolished or intentionally neglected until demolition becomes necessary and justified.
This isn’t just about preserving our history. It’s about strengthening our economy. Moving our economy forward doesn’t require bulldozing our history – it requires utilizing it. We should already have learned the lesson that historic preservation is economic development. Our significant and largely intact historic building stock is a critical part of what makes Providence a cultural center with a thriving tourism sector. Further, the upkeep, preservation and creative adaptive reuse of these buildings have a real multiplier effect throughout the local economy.
City Hall has a responsibility to step in to protect our history and to recognize its vital role in our economic well-being. But this responsibility, just like so many historic buildings throughout our city, has been neglected. As Mayor, I will make historic preservation an integral part of our city’s economic development strategy.
ArtInRuins reports via Facebook:
Could be the first “What Jeer” of 2014. ArtInRuins says the owner is building a hotel on the site, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Peter Scotti has entered a sales agreement with Cathy Lund, owner of City Kitty, for the purchase of the site. Dr. Lund plans to erect a new building with a cat vet practice, 1-2 professional tenants and 3 apartments. This plan will require zoning approval and is headed toward a November 2013 hearing. Scotti and Lund met with a small group of abutters who were pleased with their plans and responsiveness.
While it is always sad to lose an historic building, I believe this represents one of the best possible uses for the parcel. The existing building has limited ability to be reused, is undersized for what the corridor could support, and I’ve heard is in a less than optimal state of repair needing a large investment to realize meager possible returns.
The vet center will be low impact as far as traffic is concerned and adding apartments helps build the density in the Hope Street corridor providing a broader customer base for local businesses. There are certainly other undersized buildings in the corridor which would not be missed if they were knocked down for a similar structure that respects the character of the neighborhood while modestly boosting residential density.
A selection of photos readers have recently shared in our Flickr Group:
Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 • 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development • 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903
1. Referral 3365 – Petition for a permanent easement for property located at 186 Fountain Street The applicant is requesting a permanent easement to construct an outdoor deck for the restaurant located at 186 Fountain Street – for action (AP 25 Lot 185, Downtown)
2. Case No. 13-014 MI – 207 Waterman Street (Preliminary Plan Stage) The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing building to construct a four story (approx. 45 feet), 30 unit multifamily development on a lot measuring approximately 11,677 SF. The applicant is proposing to provide 21 internal parking spaces, 45 are required. The development will require dimensional relief from parking and density requirements – for action (AP 14 Lot 516, Wayland)
|City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
1. Referral 3362 – Petition for zone change from R-2 to M-1 at 230 Carolina Ave. Petition to rezone the property at 230 Carolina Ave from R-2 to M-1 subject to the use of the property being restricted to parking – for action (AP 58 lots 704-724, 726 and 730, Washington Park)
2. Referral 3363 – An ordinance in amendment of the Downtown Providence Renewal Official Redevelopment Plan Review of the amendment, which proposes acquisition and redevelopment of the building at 94 Washington Street, for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan – for action (AP 25 Lot 354, Downtown)
The “Narrow Building“
3. Referral 3364 – Petition to abandon a portion of Beach Ave. Petition to abandon the portion of Beach Ave along the eastern edge of the property at AP 17 Lot 416 – for action (Fox Point)
Beach Avenue appears to be a paper street which runs along the Seekonk Riverfront from the Gano Street off-ramp from 195 to Fremont Street. Lot 416 sits along Gano Street between the off-ramp and East Transit Street. The existence of that street would allow for public access to the water.
4. Case No. 13-014 MI – 207 Waterman Street (Preliminary Plan Stage) The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing building to construct a four story (50 feet), 30 unit multifamily development on a lot measuring approximately 11,677 SF. The applicant is proposing to provide 23 internal parking spaces, 45 are required. The development will require dimensional relief from height, parking and density requirements – for action (AP 14 Lot 516, Wayland)
A selection of photos readers have recently shared in our Flickr Group:
Notice of Regular Meeting • Monday, May 13, 2013 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 444 Westminster Street, Providence
1. Pre-Application Review: 44 Hospital Street Proposal to demolish the existing building and construct a new 6-story apartment building. This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.
Tired of those pesky real estate taxes, then tear down a block on Plainfield Street between Dyke and Atwood Streets just off Olneyville Square. What will replace those buildings, surface parking? How many more buildings will see the wrecking ball before the Olneyville’s historic mill district loses its historic status?