Greater City Providence

RI Future: La Salle very interested in replacing Providence Water Supply Board building with parking lot

Providence Water Supply Board building, image from Google Street View

As the Providence Water Supply Board moves its administration and customer service offices to its new home at an industrial park off Huntington Ave, questions are being asked about the fate of the iconic building that will soon be empty at 552 Academy Avenue. Rumors were flying that La Salle Academy wants to purchase the property and turn it into a parking lot, and those rumors, it turns out, are true.


“Let me tell what’s not going to be there if La Salle is fortunate enough to acquire the property,” said [Thomas Glavin, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at La Salle Academy]. “There’s not going to be a middle school there. There’s not going to be a hockey rink there. There’s not going to be a swimming pool there. There’s probably not going to be anything there in the short run. One of the things we’re very concerned about is parking…”


The City has not made any decisions about what to do with the building. There would be an RFP process which LaSalle would have to respond to. Then the matter would go before the Historic District Commission.

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.


  • The city should just turn it into mixed use public/affordable housing, which should be always be considered when figuring out how to repurpose unused city owned buildings.

  • I’m not sure why Prov Water is spending any money to move to another building in a less convenient location for most customers. I suppose the PUC as usual rubber stamped them passing the cost of the move to customers, just as they rubber stamped allowing the utility to bill monthly instead of quarterly, tripling transaction costs and increasing the nuisance of frequent bills.
    As for more parking for LaSalle, I suppose its not worth mentioning maybe they should do more to get employees and students to walk, bike, carpool, or use transit there (well served by #57 line) instead of facilitating ever more driving and parking? But then, not far away, Rhode Island College is doing much the same thing, already yet again expanding parking.

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