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Endangered History     


Endangered History
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Providence Preservation Society Announces 2015 Most Endangered Properties List
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Providence Preservation Society
Email The Author: info@ppsri.org
Website: http://ppsri.org/most-endangered-properties/2015-mep-list

PROVIDENCE – The Sheffield Smith House, one of the oldest houses in its section on Smith Hill, made the Providence Preservation Society’s 2015 list of the most endangered properties.

The house, at 334 Smith St., was constructed by a quarryman in 1855, and joins nine other properties identified by the society at its annual meeting on Thursday night of being in most danger of deterioration, neglect and demolition.

Foreclosed in 2007, the house, which features a five-bay façade and ornate central entrance, has been boarded up and vacant for years. It is now owned by a Texas bank, and the preservation society hopes that its appearance on the list attracts attention to it, and will prompt appropriate development there.

Appearing on the list for the second year in a row is the Grace Church Cemetery and Cottage at 10 Elmwood Ave. The cemetery has served as a “gateway to south Providence” for more than 150 years. The church originally purchased four acres for use as a burial ground in 1834, which expanded to a nine-acre parcel nine years later.

Although the cemetery is an active burial ground, the number of interments has fallen in recent decades, decreasing funds available for property maintenance.

The Cranston Street Armory has been mentioned on lists regularly from 1996 to 2000, as well as in 2003, and 2014 and 2015. The 1907 castle-like building gained attention when Mayor Jorge O. Elorza hosted his inaugural gala inside it, but needs upgrades and has been underutilized since the National Guard left it in 1996.

The Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House, often referred to as the “wedding cake house,” also made the list again, after past appearances in 2010 and 2012. Built in an elaborate Italianate style, the 1867 house at 514 Broadway in Federal Hill is “Providence’s consummate gingerbread house,” the society said.

The society said that the house is owned by a community development group which is looking at ways to reuse the property, but the building continues to deteriorate “as the planning process drags on.”

The former R.I. Department of Transportation headquarters and garage has been on the list in 2008, 2009, 2012 and the past two years. The 30 Arline St. property was built in 1927 and is now owned by Quality Food Co.

“With the possibility of an extended state historic tax credit program, PPS hopes to continue discussion started in 2006 and explore rehabilitation options with the Providence-based company,” the society said.

The society said that in recent years, properties noted on the list have reflected consequences of the recession: foreclosure, low occupancy and a lagging market.

The list’s purpose is to generate interest in, and support for, the preservation of the structures, and to educate the public about the benefits of historic preservation and unique architectural resources in the city, as well as to encourage 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,” the preservation society said in a press release.

The other properties are as follows:

Atlantic Mills (1863); the towers, which serve as the distinctive “face” of the mill, are in the most danger, the society said.

Broad Street Synagogue (1910)

Esek Hopkins House (1756)St. Teresa of Avila Church (1883)

Westminster Congregational Church (1901)

The preservation society said that many properties featured on past “most endangered properties” lists have been saved, noting the Masonic Temple, the Foundry, the Shepard Building, and most recently, the Teste Block and Arcade, as examples.

View Photos and More Information at http://ppsri.org/most-endangered-properties/2015-mep-list



Posted: January 31, 2015
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