Tag Archives | Demolition

Providence Preservation Society Advocacy Alert: Rhode Island Hospital Planning to Demolish Historic Southwest Pavilion

From Providence Preservation Society:

Advocacy Alert: Rhode Island Hospital Planning to Demolish Historic Southwest Pavilion


All photos by Frank Mullin

Next Tuesday, Rhode Island Hospital will appear before the City Plan Commission to request the demolition of the the historic Southwest Pavilion. Located at the heart of the Hospital’s campus, the Southwest Pavilion was included on the PPS Most Endangered Properties list in 2010, and stands as one of the only survivors from the original Hospital landscape. Its loss would be devastating to the city’s sense of history.

Following feasibility studies in 2010 and 2015, the Hospital is favoring demolition due to the high cost of restoration. PPS is advocating for Rhode Island Hospital to consider other options, which could include making roof repairs and mothballing, extending the life of the building until an appropriate use is found.

Show your support for this building by attending the City Plan Commission meeting on Tuesday, November 17th, at 4:45 pm, 444 Westminster Street in Providence.

What YOU can do…

Show Up:

Show your support for this building by attending the City Plan Commission meeting on Tuesday, November 17th, at 4:45 pm, 444 Westminster Street in Providence.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – November 17, 2015 – RI Hospital proposal to raze South West Pavilion building

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from October 20 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3398 – 04-316 Branch Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the properties at 304-316 Branch Ave and 19 Metcalf Street be rezoned from from C-1 to C-2. Continued from October 20 meeting – for action (Charles, AP 71 Lot 563 and AP 74 Lots 1, 3, 8, and 9)

Institutional Master Plan


Image from Providence Preservation Society

2. Rhode Island Hospital Institutional Master Plan Amendment – Presentation of amendment to Rhode Island Hospital’s Institutional Master Plan – for action (Upper South Providence)

From the Masterplan Amendment:

In our 2006 and 2011 Institutional Master Plans, we identified our South West Pavilion building as having effectively outlived its useful life as part of our camp us. After extensive study, and after holdin g a neighborhood meeting to discuss it, we have conclud ed we need to raze the building. We are the refore seeking to amend our approved 2011 IMP to allow for the removal of the South West Pavilion.

The South West Pavilion was constructed in 1900 and is one of the oldest remaining portions of the hospital complex.



City Plan Commission Meeting – October 20, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from September 15 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3398 – 304-316 Branch Ave (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting that the properties at 304-316 Branch Ave and 19 Metcalf Street be rezoned from from C-1 to C-2 – for action (Charles, AP 71 Lot 563 and AP 74 Lots 1,3,8 and 9)

2. Referral 3399 – Zoning Ordinance Amendment – Flood Hazard Areas – Amendment of the zoning ordinance to delete Section 1105 Special Flood Hazard Areas and associated definitions in Section 200 – definition of general terms – for action

3. Referral 3400 – 19 and 21 Planet Street (Zone Change) – The petitioner is requesting to rezone AP 12 lots 32 and 303 from R-2 to C-2 – for action (College Hill)

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ProJo: Tax-break plan for proposed Providence hotel to get a hearing July 23

Fogarty Building

As part of that effort, the developers are asking the City Council to approve an ordinance that would exempt the project from property taxes for three years. Starting in the fourth year of the agreement, the project owners would pay 11 percent of the total taxes due, with the amount then going up by 11 percentage points a year until year 12, when 95 percent of the taxes would be due, followed by full taxation after that.

Though the City Council is a vote away from enacting a tax-treaty process for developers in the Route 195 corridor that doesn’t need council approval, for the rest of the city, the old rules, which include public hearings and multiple council votes, still apply.

Though the Fogarty Building’s destruction has been contemplated many times over the last several years — Procaccianti took out a demolition permit in 2011 but didn’t use it — the Fogarty Building has had its defenders. It is one of the city’s few surviving examples of the “brutalist” architectural style, which features exposed concrete and angular, fortress-like designs. The name comes from the French word for raw concrete, not physical brutality.

This morning, the Procaccianti owned Old Public Safety Building Memorial Parking Lot™ has site fencing covering most of it, I don’t know why.


News & Notes

A couple of red traffic lights against a blue sky

Photo (cc) Horia Varlan

Better Cities & Towns: The benefits of removing stop lights

In the 1990s, the City of Philadelphia removed 800 traffic lights. Traffic flow improved and accidents declined by 26 percent in these intersections.

Recently, Wayne State researchers recommended that Detroit remove 460 signals, or 30 percent of its total inventory. And that figure may underestimate removable signals, the researchers note.

For pedestrians, four-way stops are much better—because every automobile has to come to a complete stop and traffic is calmed.

For pedestrians, removing traffic signals also helps maintain their right-of-way. If one approaches a stop light and is unable to reach the beg-button before the light changes, the red hand tells pedetrains and motorists that the pedestrian is not allowed to cross, even if they are trying to cross with the green which they should be allowed to do by right. Even if the walk-light actuates, turning drivers interpret their green as their right-of-way and treat the pedestrian as secondary.

A non-signalized intersection gives pedestrians the right-of-way.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: One-way streets are failing their cities

In John Gilderbloom’s experience, the notorious streets are invariably the one-way streets. These are the streets lined with foreclosed homes and empty storefronts, the streets that look neglected and feel unsafe, the streets where you might find drug dealers at night.

“Sociologically, the way one-way streets work,” he says, “[is that] if there are two or more lanes, a person can just pull over and make a deal, while other traffic can easily pass them by.”

It’s also easier on a high-speed one-way road to keep an eye out for police or flee from the scene of a crime.

So all the streets that were made one way on Federal Hill to deter drug activity, actually made it worse? Thanks NIMBYs.

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Because Pawtucket doesn’t have enough parking


From The Valley Breeze, prepare for brain explosion:

Two old buildings that are part of the Downtown Pawtucket Historic District will be leveled to make way for parking.

The 1921 Adams Furniture building, at 65 East Ave., and the 1902 former Pawtucket Boys Club, at 53 East Ave., are both expected to be demolished to make room for a new parking lot for the Blackstone Valley Community Health Care.

Because you know what makes for a healthy community? Lots and lots of surface parking.

I can’t even.


PBN: Elizabeth Mill in Warwick to be razed, redeveloped


Renderings from McGeorge Arcitecture Interiors.

The historic Elizabeth Mill will be razed and some of its architectural elements incorporated into a new building, under a plan that Warwick officials hope will serve as a development catalyst for the City Centre Warwick district.

The plan would create a four-story, 300,000-square-foot building with modern efficiencies, suitable for retail, office and residential space, according to Mayor Scott Avedisian. The mill’s cast iron stairs, doors and bricks will be incorporated into a new structure.

Michael Integlia & Company, an engineering and construction management firm, will market the conceptual plan.

You can see a skelton of white beams that create a ghost of the tower of the mill being demolished, which is sad and creepy.

Though our historic buildings are an extremely important part of what makes our region unique and special, I’m not afraid to admit that not all can always be saved. Could someone have tried harder to save this building? Maybe, but it seems that will not happen. Keeping some little remenants and building a literal skeleton to remember the building is just dumb though. If the building has to go, get rid of it and move on.

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Brown Daily Herald: Engineering building plan calls for demolition of historic houses


333 Brook Street, one of the buildings slated for demolition, see a slideshow of images on the Brown Daily Herald website. Image from Google Street View.

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.


ProJo: Demolition sought for remnant of Jewelry District factory


Update: Via Patrick Anderson on Twitter:

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.


Olneyville development and Atwells demolition appeal on the June 25, 2014 Zoning Board of Review agenda


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:


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 Zoning Board of Review meets on Wednesday, June 25th at 444 Westminster Street in the First Floor Conference Room. The Olneyville item is on the 6pm agenda, the Atwells item is on the 7pm agenda.

GoLocal Providence: 195 Bidder Carpionato Failed to Redevelop Providence Fruit Market


Former Fruit and Produce Warehouse (left) in March 2005 prior to demolition.

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.

See also:
Greater City Providence: ProJo outlines developer’s vision for east side 195 parcels
Greater City Providence: Fruit and Produce safety hazard
Greater City Providence: Yes, you can haz demo permit

ProJo: Procaccianti Group proposes extended-stay hotel for downtown Providence


The ProJo reports that The Procaccianti Group (TPG) will announce tomorrow a proposal to tear down the Fogarty Building on Fountain Street to build an extended stay hotel:

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.

See also:
Providence Business News: Procaccianti Group plans 170-room downtown hotel

Parking Lot-ification in Wanskuck


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.

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UPDATED: PPS: General Electric Base Plant Demolition Proposal


Image from Bing Maps

Update 4pm: The demolition has been approved on a technicality, we’re waiting on PPS to issue a statement and will post it when they do.
This post originally appeared on the Providence Preservation Society’s website. Reposted with permission.
Now I’m being told this afternoon’s meeting is canceled.

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.

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The further suburbanization of North Main Street


North Main Street facade of proposed LA Fitness

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.

CPC agenda:

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).


Old Sears building on North Main Street. Reader submitted photo.

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.

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Mayoral Candidate Brett Smiley statement on demolition of Adie House

Candidate for Providence Mayor, Brett Smiley sent us this statement on the demolition of the historic Alexander F. Adie House on Federal Hill.

brett-smileyYesterday, 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.

Brett Smiley


Reported demolition happening now on Federal Hill

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.

Photos from Tuesday, January 7, 2014