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Tag Archives | Preservation

Silent Protest in support of RI Hospital SW Pavilion – March 22, 2016

RIH_southwest pavillion

Photo by Warren Jagger for PPS

From the Providence Preservation Society:


Dear Preservation Backers:

We’re organizing a silent protest against the proposed demolition of Rhode Island Hospital’s Southwest Pavilion building. Please join us in wearing black clothing (to symbolize the void left if the Pavilion is lost) to the:

Zoning Board of Review Meeting
Tuesday, March 22
5:30 p.m.
Doorley Municipal Building – 444 Westminster Street

The more protesters, the greater the impact. Sign up here or by writing mwisniewski@ppsri.org; and spread the word to save our city’s history!

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Providence Preservation Society 2016 Most Endangered Properties List

atlantic-mills

Atlantic Mills in Olneyville

From the Providence Preservation Society:


  • Atlantic Mills, 100 Manton Avenue (1863)
  • Bomes Theatre, 1017 Broad Street (1921)
  • Cranston Street Armory, 315 Cranston Street (1907)
  • Historic Jewelry District Buildings As exemplified by:
    Barstow Stove Company (known as Tops Electric Company), 120 Point Street (c. 1849)
    Ward Baking Company Administration Building, 145 Globe Street (1908-1956)
  • Historic Middle School Buildings As exemplified by:
    Gilbert Stuart Middle School, 188 Princeton Avenue (c. 1930)
    Roger Williams Middle School, 278 Thurbers Avenue (1932)
    Nathanael Greene Middle School, 721 Chalkstone Avenue (1929)
  • Historic Religious Buildings As exemplified by:
    Broad Street Synagogue, 688 Broad Street (1910)
    Congregation of the Sons of Jacob, 24 Douglas Avenue (1905-1912, 1920)
    United Presbyterian Church, 619 Chalkstone Avenue (1895)
  • Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street (1928)
  • Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House, 514 Broadway (1867)
  • Meader Street School, 20 Almy Street (1891)
  • Rhode Island Hospital Southwest Pavilion, 593 Eddy Street (1900)
  • Sheffield Smith House, 334 Smith Street (1855)

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ProJo: Brown plans to knock down 7 College Hill buildings for new parking lot

Brown University intends to flatten half of a city block near Thayer Street in the College Hill neighborhood to create a commercial parking lot.

In an amendment to the school’s master plan filed with the Providence Planning Department, Brown officials wrote they want to raze seven multifamily houses that the school owns between Cushing Street, Meeting Street and Brook Street. The amendment document calls the two-unit buildings “unsightly.”


I’m just going to leave this collection of Google Streetview images Frank Mullin posted on Facebook right here.

brown-demolitions

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Providence Planning Department Neighborhood Planning Survey

From the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development:


square-p-01From 2007-2012, the Department of Planning and Development conducted extensive community outreach as part of the Providence Tomorrow neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood action plans were an important result of that process.

As several years have now passed, we feel that it is important to update the action plans for each neighborhood to make sure that they reflect current goals and issues. These documents will serve as a central repository for all planning-related issues, containing a prioritized list of issues and opportunities specific to each neighborhood including those pertaining to redevelopment, crosswalks and sidewalks, nuisance properties, parks and playgrounds, zoning, parking, schools, public transportation, drainage, historic preservation, and business needs, among many others.

Once the action items are updated to reflect current needs and goals, the Department of Planning + Development will work to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.

Neighborhood Planning Survey: English | Español
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City Plan Commission Subcommittee Meeting (RI Hospital Southwest Pavilion) – December 1, 2015

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 – 2:00pm
444 Westminster Street, City Solicitors Conference Room, Suite 220, Providence, RI 02903
Note special time and location for this meeting above.

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to order

Institutional Master Plan

1. Rhode Island Hospital Institutional Master Plan Amendment – Discussion of amendment to Rhode Island Hospital’s Institutional Master Plan – for discussion (Upper South Providence)

Adjournment

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ProJo: Redeveloped Jewelry District building will include 57 apartments, restaurant space

95-chestnut

Image from Google Streetview

Work will begin soon on the redevelopment of an historic Jewelry District building into 57 apartments and ground-floor restaurant space, and the new owners hope to have the building reopened by the end of 2016.

[…]

[Brian] Poitras [president of Waldorf Capital Management LLC] said architects Martha Werenfels and Ed Cifune of Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels are leading the design project. He said the building will include a restaurant space and some common areas on the ground level and apartments on all six floors.

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

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

cpc-roundOpening 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

swpavilion_2010

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.


Adjournment

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Providence Preservation Society seeks nominations for 2016 endangered properties list

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From PPS:


Providence Preservation Society Calls for Nominations for the 2016 Most Endangered Properties List

Seeks public input in identifying significant at-risk Providence properties

The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) announces that the nomination period for its annual Most Endangered Properties (MEP) List is now open. For over 20 years, PPS has assembled the MEP list to highlight historic assets – properties that contribute to the life and character of the city but are endangered by threats such as neglect, deterioration, demolition, development, insufficient funds, and adverse public policy. By drawing attention to these resources, PPS helps gather energy around efforts to preserve the vitality of the Providence community and its built environment. Call for nominations is open until Friday, October 30, 2015.

The MEP List, its photo exhibit, and its related events have generated important dialogue around these historic assets in the City for more than two decades. This activity has inspired engagement, action and even the successful restoration and saving of some properties on the List. Nominations help PPS create the 2016 MEP List. Through this, the public plays a critical role in supporting historic preservation efforts and working toward solutions with property owners, developers, and others to bring about positive change in each property.

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PBN: Grace Episcopal undergoing exterior renovation

grace-church

Image from Google Street View

Encased on two sides by scaffolding, Grace Episcopal Church is undergoing a nearly $800,000 exterior renovation that will clean and restore its stonework.

In addition to cleaning and repairing the stone, and repointing the masonry, the renovation will repair and paint the metal roof, which has leaked for several years, according to the Rev. Jonathan Huyck.

[…]

Financed through congregant contributions, it will be followed by a major capital campaign, the first undertaken by the church in 25 years. The plan is to expand into a new building, built over a portion of the adjoining parking lot owned by the church, he said.

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Providence Preservation Society Most Endangered Properties 20th Anniversary Photo Exhibit – May 28, 2015

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From PPS:


For 20 years, PPS has culled the annual Ten Most Endangered Properties with the help of concerned neighbors, advocates and preservationists. Each year, these properties have been captured visually by the photography of local artists, helping to tell the stories of these important sites.

Celebrate this milestone with us at a Retrospective Photo Exhibit, featuring 20 of Providence’s most significant preservation stories from the last two decades! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and view Providence’s historical assets as captured by another of the city’s assets – its photographers.

Reception will be held in the Atrium at the Peerless Building. Thursday, May 28 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Funding for this free, public event is provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and private funders. This retrospective exhibit was also made possible with support from the June Rockwell Levy Foundation and Dr. Joseph A. Chazan. The exhibit space within the Peerless Building was generously donated by Cornish Associates.

For more information, go to ppsri.og/exhibit or contact Paul Wackrow at 401-831-7440 or pwackrow@ppsri.org.
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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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Sticks and Stones: The 30th Annual RI Statewide Historic Preservation Conference on Saturday, April 25 in Glocester

sticks-and-stones-small

The 30th Annual Rhode Island Statewide Preservation Conference will take place in Glocester and throughout the region on Saturday, April 25. Organized by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC), the conference considers the theme of “Sticks and Stones”: historic rural landscapes and the long-term impact of changes on the land. The sticks are the forests, cleared for agricultural fields long ago, regrown, and now managed as conservation land, park, and private woodlot. The stones remain where they were placed to mark burials, to provide sturdy building foundations, and to build walls that separated farm fields and delineated property boundaries.

Glocester is the hometown host for this year’s conference. Guided walks through Chepachet Village will explore themes of local history, architecture, industry, and planning. Tours further afield will visit working farms, mid-century modern homes nestled in the woods, and a forested landscape that was the site of several historic farmsteads. Additional tours will venture to Borders Farm and Foster Center, North Scituate, and Harrisville. Panel presentations will discuss the legacy of our public woodlands and demonstrate how LiDAR technology can penetrate forest cover to find evidence of historic landscapes and archaeological sites. Additional workshops will take on a range of topics like preservation grants and tax credits, local planning initiatives, Rhode Island’s Art Deco architecture, and a new statewide initiative to create heritage tourism apps for your mobile phone.

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Providence Preservation Society 2015 Most Endangered Properties List

atlantic-mills-2005

Atlantic Mills in Olneyville in 2005. Photo by Jef Nickerson

The Providence Preservation Society has released their list for 2015 of the most endangered properties in Providence:


Providence Preservation Society Releases 2015 Most Endangered Properties List

Providence, R.I. (January 30, 2015): The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) announced the 2015 Most Endangered Properties (MEP) List at the organization’s Annual Meeting last night, featuring historically significant properties deemed in threat of deterioration, neglect and demolition.

In a city known for its extraordinary architecture, many historic buildings are threatened by factors such as neglect, insufficient funds, adverse public policy, and inappropriate development. For 20 years, PPS has been working with concerned neighbors, preservationists, and activists to put together this annual list. In recent years, properties noted on the MEP list have reflected additional threats of the continuing recession: foreclosure, low occupancy, and a lagging market. To raise awareness of these issues, PPS has made its annual MEP list an integral part of the organization’s advocacy efforts.

The MEP’s purpose is to generate interest in, and support for, the preservation of these significant structures; to educate the public about the benefits of historic preservation and the unique architectural resources in our city; and to foster creative collaboration among property owners, developers and other interested parties to bring about positive changes in each property. Most buildings on the annual Lists represent notable aspects of local community life and character.

2015 PPS Most Endangered Properties List (in alphabetical order):

  1. Atlantic Mills (1863)
  2. Broad Street Synagogue (1910)
  3. Cranston Street Armory (1907)
  4. Grace Church Cemetery & Cottage (1834)
  5. Esek Hopkins House (1756)
  6. Former RIDOT Headquarters and Garage (1927)
  7. Sheffield Smith House (1855)
  8. St. Teresa of Avila Church (1883)
  9. Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House (1867)
  10. Westminster Congregational Church (1901)

Many properties featured on past Most Endangered Properties Lists have successfully been saved. Formerly listed properties include the Masonic Temple, the Foundry, the Shepard’s Building, and most recently, the Teste Block and Arcade. PPS is also celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the list, and will begin a program series this spring highlighting significant progress over the past two decades.

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Providence Preservation Society Symposium – November 6-8, 2014

pps-symposium-save-date-2014

The 2013-2014 Providence Symposium speaker series is cultivating an important dialogue on preservation, development and quality of place, with a specific focus on Downtown Providence. From open space to transportation, economic assets to partnerships, we explore the key components in the making of a great city.

The series brings national experts to Providence to talk about creating healthy and successful urban environments. Join us and take part in this critical conversation about our city.

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ProJo: Paul Graseck: City Council still has time to save Pawtucket landmark

pawtucket

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.

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383 West Fountain Street Renovations

383-west-fountain

Way, way, way back in 2005 in the UrbanPlanet days, Armory Revival had plans for a new building at this site. As with many things in the middle of the last decade, that didn’t happen. Fast forward to today though and Armory Revival is doing a nice renovation of the block.

From their website:

This quirky collection of one and two story brick industrial buildings is quietly being transformed into one of the busiest places in the city by The Armory Revival Company. The 40,000 square foot former Waterman Stables and Combination Ladder Company buildings, featuring fabulous skylights, exposed ductwork, wood beams, private entrances and flexible, efficient floor plates are being developed for a variety of office and commercial uses. Modest rents, abundant on-site parking and immediate access to Interstate 95, Downcity and the Hospitals make this Westminster Crossing location a fantastic choice for your business. 383 West Fountain Street is now home to the most successful Planet Fitness in New England and Riverwood Mental Health Services.

There’s a floorplan on the site which is a little hard to read as displayed, but you can get an idea of the building.

It is nice to see some action happening in what I like to call the Near West Side.

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Providence to Create New Historic Landmarks District

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Broad Street Synagogue from the Providence Preservation Society’s 2014 Ten Most Endangered Properties list. Photo by Jesse Burke for PPS.

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:


City of Providence to Create Historic Landmarks District to Preserve Properties

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.

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PPS: Save Rhode Island’s Historic Tax Credits

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:


Act Now to Save Rhode Island’s Historic Tax Credits!

pps-logoLast 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:

Nicholas Matiello
Speaker
House of Representatives
State House, Room 323
Providence, RI 02903
401-222-2466 • Rep-mattiello@rilin.state.ri.us

Lynne Urbani
Director, Office of House Policy
Room B43, State House
Providence, RI 02903
401-258-1760 • lurbani@rilin.state.ri.us


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