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Providence Journal seeks demolition of historic Brownell & Field Co. Building


Photo from Providence Preservation Society

The Providence Business News reports that the Providence Journal is seeking permission to demolish the 1907 Brownell & Field Co. Building located at 119 Harris Avenue.

The building is listed on the Providence Preservation Society’s 2010 list of 10 Most Endangered Properties.

The Brownell & Field Co. and Terminal Warehouse Co. buildings represent a typology that faces development challenges in this economy. They are both located in areas where they remain one of the few historic structures of their kind due to the demolition of other warehouses and industrial complexes.

The Brownell & Field Company Building is part of the Provisions Warehouse Historic District. Brownell & Field and two adjacent buildings, Standard Wholesale Liquors Co. (1937) at 115 Harris Avenue and Turner Centre System Building (1923-26) at 135 Harris Avenue, are the only buildings remaining in that district. Brownell & Field is also part of the city’s Industrial & Commercial Buildings District (ICBD).

The building is a three-story, flat-roof, lozenge-shaped, brick industrial building with close proximity to the railroad tracks. The building’s trapezoidal plan is a response both to the rail lines that directly served the building, with access for loading and unloading along the north wall adjacent to the tracks, and to the vehicular traffic that had access to loading bays on the west elevation.

The Journal will be seeking permission to demolish the building at the Monday meeting of the Providence Historic District Commission. The Commission meets at 4:45pm at 400 Westminster Street, 4th Floor. Providence Historic District Commission Meeting Agenda [.pdf]

PPS told the Providence Business News:

The society charged that the Journal neglected the building’s upkeep and was now using its poor condition as justification to tear it down.

“As the owners have failed to show plans for a higher and better use of the site, we see no compelling basis on which to grant demolition,” the society said.

In an interview, the society’s Preservation and Advocacy Coordinator Kathleen Philp said the organization was urging the Journal to retain the property. She said if the state restores the historic preservation tax credit program, the site could become more valuable.

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Rally for Grove Street School (Sept. 11)


Channel 10 video from February 2007.


Grove Street School
Community Rally

Saturday, September 11th – 10:00am
Grove Street School, 95 Grove Street

Come learn the history of this school and how you can help save this endangered historic building. Bring your camera and camera phones to take photos for SeeClickFix.

Sponsored by the West Broadway Neighborhood Association and the Providence Preservation Society.

You may recall, because I keep bringing it up, that Federal Hill resident, Assistant City Solicitor, and candidate to succeed Steven Costantino in the General Assembly, Michael Tarro and his family own this building, and Mr. Tarro has repeatedly ignored all court rullings, right up to the state Supreme Court, ordering that the building be fixed.

Assistant City Solicitor Illegal tore down building Breaks laws in the city he is paid to be an Assistant Solicitor in Ignores court orders to fix said building Wants to be a lawmaker

Grove Street School
Feb. 4, 2007

Grove Street School
Aug. 9, 2010

Grove Street School
Aug. 9, 2010

Grove Street School
Aug. 9, 2010

Grove Street School
Aug. 9, 2010

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Reader Submissions: Shorpy.com


November 1912. Central Falls, Rhode Island. View of privies, garbage dumps, etc., in back yards near Bed-bug Alley and High Street. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine for the Child Welfare Exhibit of 1912-13. via: Shorpy.com

A reader sent me some links from a site I hadn’t heard of, Shorpy.com. Shorpy.com describes itself as, “History in HD is a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.”

All of the photos on the site are interesting, and there are some from Rhode Island. Though these are not your typical photos of a hazy glorified yesteryear. In fact, most of these photos highlight child labor in the mills of Rhode Island around the turn of the last century. Something that we don’t look back on very often.

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GC: Photos – Providence Public Library

The Providence Public Library has put many items from it’s collection on Flickr. Let’s play Then & Now with a few of them:

Washington Street

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Mathewson Street at Washington Street, 1917. Photo (cc) Providence Public Library

Today – View Larger Map

North Main Street

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North Main Street, 1939. Photo (cc) Providence Public Library

Today – View Larger Map

Turks Head

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Turks Head, late 1800s. Photo (cc) Providence Public Library

Today – View Larger Map

Continue Reading →

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