Tag Archives | Ten Most Endangered Properties

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


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


Providence Preservation Society 2015 Most Endangered Properties List


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.


Providence Preservation Society 2014 Ten Most Endangered Properties

The Providence Preservation Society has released its annual list of the Ten Most Endangered Properties in Providence. The list will be highlighted with a photo exhibit at their annual meeting tonight.

The List:


All photos by Jesse Burke for PPS.

57 Federal Street (Early 19th Century) Federal Hill
PPS Most Endangered: 2014 Building type: Residential
Threat: Neglect

Among the oldest buildings on Federal Hill, 57 Federal Street is a two story, 5-bay-facade, center hall-plan house with a single interior brick chimney and a central entrance with sidelights, located between Atwells Avenue and Broadway. While Federal- era houses of this style are not uncommon on the East Side of Providence, the Federal Hill neighborhood was largely undeveloped grazing land before 1820. Although 57 Federal Street is likely one of the oldest remaining buildings in the immediate area, it is not included on any historic resource survey, and is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While the existing door head may be a modern replacement, several of the building’s details remain remarkably intact including the building’s clapboards and window sash. Unfortunately, the house has been abandoned for several years, with broken windows on the second story leaving the building completely open to the elements.

In the coming year PPS hopes to better document this unique building, and work with the City of Providence to fully secure the building and address maintenance and safety issues.

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The Providence Preservation Society’s 56th Annual Meeting featuring Jennifer Bradley – January 23, 2014

Brookings Institution Fellow and Co-Author of The Metropolitan Revolution JENNIFER BRADLEY to Speak at PPS’ 56th Annual Meeting

Second in PPS’ Yearlong Speaker Series entitled Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience 2014 Ten Most Endangered Properties List Announced

jennifer-bradleyThe Providence Preservation Society welcomes Jennifer Bradley, fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution, to their 56th Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014, 5:30 pm, at Brown University’s Salomon Center. The event is also the second installment of PPS’ yearlong speaker series entitled Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience, featuring dynamic urban leaders and experts on topics including government and development, open space and public land, and transportation. Ms. Bradley will speak to the context of her book, co-written with Bruce Katz, on how cities and metros are fixing our broken politics and fragile economy.

The Metropolitan Revolution is a thought-leading book on the shift back to our nation’s urban cores. Jennifer Bradley, along with her co-author Bruce Katz, is leading the dialogue on how cities can flourish and ultimately be the drivers for the next economy,” stated Brent Runyon, Executive Director of the Providence Preservation Society. “The Providence Preservation Society has long contributed to the economic vitality of Rhode Island through its work in the capital city, preserving our important past while being a partner in the city’s growth. We are excited to have Ms. Bradley with us to share examples from other cities as our second speaker in the Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience series, and as we turn the page to another year of preservation in Providence.”

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The New York Times: Historic Power Plant in Providence, R.I., May Get Another Chance at an Encore

The New York Times reports that Brown University may be interested in redeveloping the South Street Power Station, better known as the location of the stalled “Dynamo House” project.

According to James S. Bennett, director of economic development for Providence, “serious” possible tenants have looked at the building in recent months, though he declined to say who they were. Sources knowledgeable about the site said that Brown University might be interested since Dynamo House is in the city’s Jewelry District, where Brown has expanded in recent years.

Mr. Bennett said the city had made finding a new use for the building a priority, and would not consider the alternative: “It’s not going to be torn down,” he said.

See also:
Greater City Providence: What’s going on with the Dynamo House?
Via: Nesi’s Notes

2012 Ten Most Endangered Properties Photography Exhibit – Opening Reception, November 8, 2012

The Providence Preservation Society’s (PPS) highly acclaimed annual Ten Most Endangered Properties Photography Exhibit will appear November 8 – 29 at the Brick School House located at 24 Meeting Street, Providence.

The show features the work of local photographers Jan Armor, Jesse Burke, John Caserta, Michael Cevoli, Stephanie Ewens, Erik Gould, Heidi Gumula, Deborah Hickey, Tim Hiebert, Frank Mullin, and Traer Scott.

An opening reception will be held at the Brick School House, 24 Meeting Street, on Thursday, November 8, 6:00–8:00 p.m. The event and reception are free and open to the public. As part of the reception, the JUMP! Dance Company will be performing at the Brick School House. JUMP! often uses Providence’s historic buildings as a backdrop for their performances – as they did this year with the Cathedral of St. John!

Exhibit is free and open to the public.

Hours: M noon – 4; T & Th noon – 2:30; or by appointment. Closed Nov. 12, 21 & 22. For more information contact PPS at (401)831-7440


Providence Preservation Society 2012 Ten Most Endangered Properties

This week the Providence Preservation Society announced their 2012 list of the city’s Ten Most Endangered Properties.

  • George C. Arnold Building (“The Narrow Building”)
  • Jerothmul B. Barnaby House (“Barnaby’s Castle”)
  • Flower Shop and Green House at 398 Hope Street
  • Foreclosed Multifamily Housing Stock
  • Cathedral of St. John
  • Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House
  • Narragansett Electric Lighting (Dynamo House)
  • former Rhode Island Department of Transportation Headquarters and Garage
  • Roger Williams Park Seal House
  • Ward Baking Company Administration Building

Find more information about each building and the Providence Preservation Society website.


First sign of demo; the site fence

Outlet Garage slated for demolition in Providence

Often the first sign of demolition is the site fence around a property. Here we see the site fence set up around the Outlet Garage on Friendship Street Downcity.

The Outlet Garage was featured on this year’s Providence Preservation Society list of Ten Most Endangered Properties. Here’s what PPS has to say about the property:

In 1963, Providence’s Outlet Company anticipated the city of the future with the construction of a new multi-story parking garage by architects Gage & Martinson unlike any other structure in the city. A parade heralded its arrival and dignitaries ceremonially cut ribbons. Shoppers were happy for both the convenience and the symbolism of modernity as they streamed across the new “skybridge” from the garage to the department store.

Today, the current owners plan to demolish the parking structure to make room for a surface lot. The Outlet Garage is a symbol of good urban planning that favors parking structures over surface lots which mar the face of downtowns across the country. Downtown Providence has suffered from many holes in its urban fabric over recent years and should not be made to suffer again with the demolition of this structure.

The Outlet Garage further represents Mid-Century Modern architecture, a style that is threatened as properties less than 50 years old are often less understood and consequently more vulnerable to inappropriate treatment or demolition.

I personally have some mixed feelings about the loss of this building. I fully agree with PPS about it being a rare example of mid-century architecture in Providence. I’m personally a fan of the style. And I definately prefer to see structured parking over a surface lot. However, let’s take a look at the building:

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