Greater City Providence

February 3, 2007

Channel 10 video from February 2007.

Four years today, workers contracted by the family of Assembly Member and Assistant City Solicitor, Michael Tarro attempted the illegal demolition of the Grove Street School on Federal Hill. The owners had no demolition permit and a stop work order was in place. But on a cold weekend morning, crews came out to try to tear the building down. Neighbors alerted police and the Mayor and the demollition stopped.

Since then, the building has stood with a gaping wound in its side, while the Tarro family has ignored repeated court orders to secure the building, and repeated offers from others to buy it from them.

February 4, 2007

August 9, 2010

September 11, 2010 – Rally to save Grove Street School

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

1 comment

  • From the WBNA regarding Grove Street School:

    Grove Street Elementary School Call to Action: 4 Years is Too Long to Wait

    Today marks the four year anniversary of the illegal partial demolition of the Grove Street Elementary School. On February 4, 2007, property owners acted in violation of a Stop Work Order and began demolishing the east side of this historic school. Mayor David N. Cicilline and Federal Hill residents worked to stop the demolition, and yet the building has remained open to the elements for the past four years.

    Built in 1901 as a grammar school, the Grove Street Elementary School is the only surviving one of five grammar schools built in the city’s ninth ward to serve the ballooning immigrant population in turn-of-the-20th-century Providence. This Angell & Swift-designed, two-story, red-brick Italianate structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

    In the four years since the building was partially demolished (and still determined to be structurally sound and salvageable by a respected structural engineer,) the owners have appealed each court battle that the city has won. But, even as this historically significant building wins in court, it remains vulnerable to damage from weather and vandals due to owner neglect. The City is in the process of taking the property owners, the Tarro Family, to Housing Court and in November, Mayor Cicilline’s operational staff promised to board the building up, and put a lien on the property with the mechanisms available to them to do so. Meanwhile, it continues to rain and snow into the gaping hole of this beleaguered property.

    We are asking you to please contact Mayor Taveras and your Councilperson to let them know that this building needs to be “buttoned up” as has been required by numerous court rulings and as promised by the previous administration, and a redevelopment plan completed. This building has the potential to serve the residents of that neighborhood, and beyond, and there are interested parties waiting for the opportunity to save it. What is the hold up?


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