Preservation Society names 2014 most endangered properties

An early 19th century house in Federal Hill joins Rhode Island’s tallest building and the Statehouse lawn on the Providence Preservation Society’s Ten Most Endangered Properties List for 2014, the group announced Thursday. More

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Preservation Society names 2014 most endangered properties

COURTESY PROVIDENCE PRESERVATION SOCIETY/JESSE BURKE
THE BROAD STREET Synagogue was one of five historic houses of worship listed on the Providence Preservation Society's 2014 endangered properties list.
COURTESY PROVIDENCE PRESERVATION SOCIETY/JESSE BURKE
AN EARLY 19TH century house at 57 Federal St. in Providence is among Rhode Island's most endangered historic properties for 2014, according to the Providence Preservation Society.
COURTESY PROVIDENCE PRESERVATION SOCIETY/JESSE BURKE
ST. TERESA OF Avila Church was one of five historic houses of worship listed on the Providence Preservation Society's 2014 endangered properties list.
COURTESY PROVIDENCE PRESERVATION SOCIETY/JESSE BURKE
THE STATEHOUSE LAWN - was paved last year to expand a parking lot against the planning guidelines of the Capital Center Commission - appeared on the Providence Preservation Society's 2014 most endangered properties list.
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Posted 1/23/14

(Updated, 9:56 a.m.)

PROVIDENCE - An early 19th century house in Federal Hill joins Rhode Island’s tallest building and the Statehouse lawn on the Providence Preservation Society’s Ten Most Endangered Properties List for 2014, the group announced Thursday.

The endangered properties list, which draws attention to buildings both historically significant and vulnerable to decay or demolition, returned this year after not being published in 2013.

“In a city known for its extraordinary architecture, many historic buildings are threatened by factors such as neglect, insufficient funds, adverse public policy and inappropriate development,” the Providence Preservation Society said in a news release. “In recent years, properties noted on the Most Endangered Properties list have reflected additional threats of the continuing recession: foreclosure, low occupancy and a lagging market.”

The two-story, blue wooden house that sits at 57 Federal St. between Broadway and Atwells Avenue – one of the oldest buildings on the west side of the city – made its first appearance on the list this year after the house was abandoned several years ago.

Making its first appearance on the list this year was the Industrial Trust Building, also known as the Superman Building, on Westminster Street downtown, Rhode Island’s tallest building and one many never imagined could be threatened until its sole tenant moved out last year.

Perhaps the most pointed new entry on the list is the Statehouse lawn, a small part of which was paved last year to expand a parking lot against the planning guidelines of the Capital Center Commission.

Other buildings named this year had been listed before, including the Atlantic Mills complex on Manton Avenue in Olneyville, previously listed in 2009 and 2010; the Bomes Theatre on Broad Street in South Providence, listed in 2009 and 2011; the former R.I. Department of Transportation Building on Arline Street in the Valley, listed in 2008 and 2009; and the Ward Baking Co. Administration Building on Globe Street in the Jewelry District, listed in 2012.

The sixth entry on the endangered properties list comprised five separate buildings under the category “Historic Houses of Worship.”

The Doyle Avenue Historic District encompasses even more buildings, and was listed because of aesthetic alterations made by current owners instead of a threat of decay or demolition.

Two buildings named on the 2012 list are now on the path to redevelopment - the South Street Power Station and George C. Arnold Building - while the former Clark’s Flower shop on Hope Street is slated to be torn down to make way for an animal hospital.

The Providence Preservation Society will present a photo exhibition of this year’s endangered properties tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Brown University’s Solomon Center, an event featuring speaker Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution.

Providence Preservation Society’s 2014 Ten Most Endangered Properties List:

  • 57 Federal St., Federal Hill (early 19th century)
  • Atlantic Mills, Olneyville (1863)
  • Bomes Theatre, South Providence (1921)
  • Doyle Avenue Historic District, East Side (1860s)
  • Grace Church Cemetery and Cottage, South Providence (1834)
  • Historic Houses of Worship: Broad Street Synagogue, Cathedral of St. John, St. Teresa of Avila Church, United Presbyterian Church, Westminster Congregational Church
  • Industrial Trust Building, downtown (1928)
  • RIDOT Headquarters and Garage, Valley (1927)
  • Statehouse lawn, Capital Center (1901)
  • Ward Baking Co. Administration Building, Jewelry District (1908-1956)

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