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Tag Archives | Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation: Historic Tax Credit Eliminated

“Our tax credits have made the preservation of our older buildings not only a matter of respect for beauty and history, but of economic good sense.” –President Ronald Reagan in 1984

Press Release from National Trust for Historic Preservation:


Today the House Ways and Means Committee released a proposed tax reform bill that eliminates the federal historic tax credit (HTC) as part of a sweeping effort to both pay for tax cuts and simplify the tax code.

While not unexpected, this policy proposal deals a significant blow to historic preservation. The HTC has a four-decade track record of success in saving our nation’s historic buildings, creating over 2.4 million jobs, and actually generating revenue for the U.S. Treasury, returning $1.20 for every taxpayer dollar spent.

President Ronald Reagan praised the HTC as “economic good sense” by significantly leveraging private sector investment. Developers have completed over 42,000 challenging historic rehabilitation projects using the HTC. Without this powerful incentive, historic rehabilitation across the nation will halt, as will significant reinvestment in our communities.

Introduction of the House tax reform bill represents the beginning of a difficult legislative process. We will continue to advocate vigorously in support of this vital preservation tool to ensure a critical redevelopment incentive is preserved in the final tax reform bill—but we cannot do it without you.

Please use our sample message to contact your members of Congress NOW to help save the historic tax credit.

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Providence Preservation Society Symposium – October 18 & 21, 2017

Press release from Providence Preservation Society:


Providence Symposium Examines Historic Preservation and Urban Displacement

PPS Presents Free Programs with Local and National Experts on October 18 and 21

The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) presents the 2017 Providence Symposium, Sites and Stories: Mapping a Preservation Ecosystem, October 18 and 21 in Fox Point. The program examines how to preserve sites and their diverse stories, particularly when these sites have vanished or been altered. The Symposium explores both the economics and the ethics of preservation, acknowledges divides in the field, provides an opportunity to consider multiple points of view and applies to all those who care about the history of the built environment.

The event begins with film screenings on Wednesday, October 18, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street. Films include “Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”: A Cape Verdean American Story (2006) and The Rebirth of the Nation: The Story of Urban Renewal (1963), a 16mm restored film courtesy of SPIA Media Productions, Inc. An informal Q&A follows with Claire Andrade-Watkins, Director of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project; Professor of Film and Africana Studies at Emerson College; and Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and Distinguished Community Practitioner and Senior Fellow, Swearer Center for Public Service, both at Brown University.

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Providence Historic District Commission Meeting – June 26, 2017

City of Providence Historic District Commission Agenda
JUNE 26, 2017 – 4:45 PM
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building, Providence, RI 02903
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor, Conf. Room

Opening Session

Minutes

Approval of the June 7th meeting minutes.

Project Review

1. CASE 17.053, 21 PLANET STREET, Welcome Arnold House, c1785-95 (COLLEGE HILL) – The applicant is requesting the demolition of the building. The applicants have requested that the application be continued, and the commission will vote on a continuance to a date certain. Public comment will be taken at that date.

2. CASE 17.010, 124 SYCAMORE STREET, vacant lot (ARMORY) – The applicant is requesting the new construction of a two-story cottage (This item is continued from the June 7th meeting).

3. CASE 17.045, 15 BARNES STREET, House, c1960 (COLLEGE HILL) – The applicant is requesting the construction of two additions, specifically: a First floor addition (16’10” x 13’8 1?2”) on back side of house behind existing carport; a Second floor addition (18’7” x 18’5.5”) above existing one-story living room; and a Second floor addition (12’11 1?2” x 11’) and deck (9’3 1?2” x 13 8 1?2”) above new construction on first floor. Additional the following alterations are being requested: Adding a front door to the street-facing side of the house to provide a means of entrance; Addition of a garage door recessed in existing; Relocation of existing carport entry stairs to inside the house; Adding additional windows in the existing living room on the east and south facing elevations; Relocation of second floor window on east-facing side, as well as relocation and addition f second window on west-facing; Alteration of the siding and window trim. Slight relocation of window so that it is better aligned; the Addition of a sunscreen to the rear elevation and the installation of fencing (This item is continued from the June 7th meeting).

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Providence Public Library Planning Renovations

Proposed LED sign panels on the Providence Public Library facade

The Providence Public Library is planning a major renovation to their Empire Street building.

Providence Public Library (PPL) is planning to undertake the state’s largest-ever library renovation beginning later this year. The project will address required life safety systems upgrades, as well as make major infrastructure improvements to PPL’s downtown buildings. The approximately 85,000-square foot project will transform the Library’s 1950s wing, auditorium, and special collection areas to provide 21st-century library services for Providence and Rhode Island residents.

Read more about the PPL planned renovations on their website.

The proposed LED screens on the Empire Street facade of the building (shown rendered at the top of this post) is causing some sturm und drang among some preservationist and others. Providence Business News reports on the controversy. Personally, I kind of like the screens. I’m all about more light and signs downtown, especially proximate to LaSalle Square.

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2017 Providence Preservation Society Most Endangered Properties list

Humboldt Fire Station – Photo by Yvette Brunet for PPS

The Providence Preservation Society announced thier annual list of the city’s Most Endangered Properties this week.

  • Atlantic Mills, 100 Manton Avenue, Olneyville (1863)
  • Barstow Stove Company (known as Tops Electric Company), 120 Point Street, Jewelry District (c. 1849)
  • Bomes Theatre, 1017 Broad Street, Elmwood (1921)
  • Broad Street Synagogue, 688 Broad Street (1910-1911)
  • Cranston Street Armory, 310 Cranston Street, West End (1907)
  • Humboldt Fire Station, 155 Humboldt Avenue, Wayland (1906)
  • Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street, Downtown (1928)
  • Rhodes Street National Register District, Rhodes/Alphonso/Janes Streets, Upper South Providence, (1850s-1890s)
  • Sheffield Smith House, 334 Smith Street, Smith Hill (1855)
  • Former Sixth Precinct Police Station, 36 Chaffee Street, Olneyville (1890)
  • Welcome Arnold House, 21 Planet Street, College Hill (1785-1798)

For further information on each property, visit the Providence Preservation Society’s website.

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Providence Preservation Society 2016 Symposium: Why Preserve? – November 3-4, 2016

superman-pps

From the Providence Preservation Society:


PPS Announces 2016 Providence Symposium: Why Preserve?

Industrial Trust Building is setting for national conversation on why preservation matters to communities

The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) announces the 2016 Providence Symposium, Why Preserve?, November 3-4, 2016 at the Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street.

The annual Providence Symposium engages experts from across the nation as well as local stakeholders on topics critical to the future of Providence. In 1956, PPS inaugurated what became a national model for historic preservation. Sixty years later, PPS asks its founding question of a new generation: Why Preserve? The 2016 Symposium will launch a year of community-based conversations around these foundational preservation questions: Why do we preserve? What do we preserve? Who decides what we preserve – that is, who are “we”? What are the costs of preservation? Who bears them?

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PBN: State approves $8M for historic renovations across R.I.

The state Division of Taxation has approved nearly $8 million in state historic preservation tax credits to seven projects in several cities, including for works that will create new purposes for old industrial buildings.


This is quite a list of buildings, some pretty important to the streetscapes of the city. Let’s take a look at the ones in Providence:

Freedom City Properties LLC – 431 Harris Avenue, Providence

Image from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

In Eagle Square, Freedom City Properties LLC is renovating the former American Brewing Co. building (better known as Capital Records Management) into artists workspaces, a theatre, and apartments.

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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

pps-mep-16-header

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

pps-most-endangered

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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