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.
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.
Second in PPS’ Yearlong Speaker Series entitled Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience 2014 Ten Most Endangered Properties List Announced
The 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.”
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.
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
A selection of photos readers have recently shared in our Flickr Group:
This week the Providence Preservation Society announced their 2012 list of the city’s Ten Most Endangered Properties.
Find more information about each building and the Providence Preservation Society website.
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:
65 Weybosset Street, Downcity
Photo Jef Nickerson