Greater City Providence

Because Pawtucket doesn’t have enough parking


From The Valley Breeze, prepare for brain explosion:

Two old buildings that are part of the Downtown Pawtucket Historic District will be leveled to make way for parking.

The 1921 Adams Furniture building, at 65 East Ave., and the 1902 former Pawtucket Boys Club, at 53 East Ave., are both expected to be demolished to make room for a new parking lot for the Blackstone Valley Community Health Care.

Because you know what makes for a healthy community? Lots and lots of surface parking.

I can’t even.

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.


  • It’s one thing to have parking, but it needs to support something. Downtown Pawtucket is a ghost town after 5 pm and there is nowhere to go and nothing requiring the additional parking.

  • Does the city already owns the buildings or do they have to be acquired?

  • A few nights ago at a public forum regarding $150k+ of planned artwork on the George Street Bridge that passes over Route 95 in Pawtucket (near the Comfort Inn), theater artist Ricardo Pitts-Wiley of Mixed Magic Theater was among the many locals who spoke about pro/con issues. He said, in effect, that the past is history, and that we should be looking not at what the city was, but what it wants to be 30 years from now.

    The answer to that question depends upon whom you ask. Some value older buildings of high architectural and historical value, others value making a buck any way you can on Allen Avenue in Providence’s combat zone, still others see a hydroelectric plant after the fashion of the Scituate Reservoir.

  • Surface parking advocates, whether developers or the public, are urban and community planning’s climate change deniers.

    We’ve realized this platform is detrimental not only to our natural environments, but to our community building efforts and dense urban development yet for some God-awful reason we keep “paving over paradise.”

  • In this case, the “city that was” that we should leave to the dustbin of history is the city of 1968 when urban renewal and loads of parking were going to save us. It’s pretty clear that didn’t work, yet we’re still doing it.

  • The Preservation Society of Pawtucket has to pull some strings to stop this.

  • I’d be pretty upset if they destroyed old historic buildings for new ones, but I could at least be brought to agree if the purpose was high enough. But talking about the city of tomorrow in the context of surface lots is kind of crazy no matter how you slice it.

    It’s a shame this is the healthcare industry doing this. Having everyone drive everywhere should be really great for everyone’s health, between lack of exercise, pollution, and car crashes.

  • James, to really drive home the irony, it’s a *community* health center.

  • Some good news – the Valley Breeze article was wrong and has been corrected. It’s only Adams Furniture/Costello Bros. being torn down; the Boys Club is going to be reoccupied by the health center. I’m still not thrilled about the loss of a 19th century building for surface parking, but the building isn’t in great condition, doesn’t have much ornamentation, and is already next to a parking lot. The Boys Club would have been a much greater loss.

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