PROVIDENCE – Demolition of the historic Grove Street School in the city’s West End began Tuesday morning and is expected to continue into the middle of next week, said the owner of the building, state Rep. Michael Tarro, D-Providence.
The fate of the 1901 former school building has been a subject of controversy and a protracted legal battle for years, but city officials issued a demolition permit last week.
Tarro, whose family has owned the property for decades, described the building as a safety hazard that would have been “financially infeasible” to renovate because of its deteriorated condition.
“If I couldn’t redevelop this building, no one could,” Tarro said Wednesday. “When something can’t be done, it can’t be done.”
Tarro said he does not have any current plans for the property, which at one point was going to become a parking lot, and after it is graded the land will probably need to sit and settle for at least a year before anything can go there.
Part of the building was torn down in the summer after it was condemned by fire officials, but city officials stepped in and revoked the demolition permit.
The Grove School has been on the Providence Preservation Society’s list of top 10 most endangered buildings.