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Westminster Street, circa 1950

Past Award Winners

2001 PPS Awards

Private Residential Preservation Charles Coggeshall House

The restoration of the Charles Coggeshall House is an example of the continuing efforts being made to preserve the rich architectural heritage of the East Side of Providence. The building’s owners, Sean and Lee Coffey, restored both the exterior and interior of their home in a manner that preserves the architectural integrity of the building. Restoration work included structural and drainage repairs, interior woodwork, replication of original fireplace mantles, historically sensitive painting, and landscaping. With the painstaking restoration of the Coggeshall House, the Coffey family has again demonstrated their long commitment to historic preservation.

Adaptive Reuse Item Building

The rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Item Building in Providence’s Jewelry District is an example of the continuing efforts being made to preserve and rehabilitate historic resources in the Jewelry District. Building owners Aidan Petrie and Stephen Lane’s successful rehabilitation of the building represents an outstanding transformation of both the exterior and interior spaces. The Item Building is a creative and imaginative pairing of two nondescript buildings in its use of color, materials and shape. Rehabilitated according to the designs of architect James Barnes, the building is an excellent example of adaptive reuse and strengthens the character of this historically significant district.

Adaptive Reuse White Electric Building

The rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the White Electric Building on Broadway preserves an important piece of the urban fabric of the streetscape. It is a celebration of a small-scale commercial property type much neglected and highly threatened. The project is a successful collaboration between property and business owners Jean-Paul and Alyce Jacquet, Rik Kleinfeldt and Paula Anderson, Jed Arkley and Tonya Langford, and interior designers James Marchbank and Jeremy Knapp from the design firm Saphrophyte. The project has had a positive impact on the neighborhood, bringing renewed life to the street and serving as a local gathering space. Funds to rehabilitate the building’s exterior were made available from the Providence Preservation Society Revolving Fund.

Neighborhood Revitalization Stephens Building

The restoration of the Stephens Building at 315 Elmwood Avenue demonstrates how the preservation of a prominent local landmark can help to revitalize a neighborhood. Once ridden with lead and asbestos, the Stephens Building, which had been vacant since 1994, was successfully rehabilitated through the efforts of the West Elmwood Housing Development Corp (WEHDC), and Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation (RIHMFC). The development of the Stephens Building exemplifies the important role that public and private entities create as partners in housing and community development initiatives. The building was sensitively rehabilitated according to the design plans of Doug Brown, principal of the Providence architectural firm Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects. Brown redesigned the interior of the building from 50 dormitory units to include eight three-bedroom, thirteen two-bedroom, and eleven one-bedroom apartments.

Public Policy State Representatives Gordon Fox and Tony Pires

Rhode Island State Representatives Gordon Fox and Tony Pires are hereby honored for their advocacy for historic preservation in both Providence and the cities and towns across the state. As recipients of the Providence Preservation Society’s Public Policy Award for 2001, Representatives Fox and Pires have been leading proponents of the Rhode Island Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit, a 30-percent state tax credit for the rehabilitation of income-producing historic buildings. The tax credits, which are to take effect in 2002, are expected to produce a wave of efforts to restore neglected architectural landmarks and help to preserve the rich architectural heritage of our city and state.

Grassroots Advocacy Award Eagle Square Coalition

Throughout the past year, the Eagle Square Coalition has worked tirelessly on an effort to ensure the preservation of Providence’s industrial heritage. Through near-weekly meetings, electronic and personal advocacy, gifted testimony at public hearings and sheer determination, the group has had a profound impact on the future of Providence’s important mill buildings. Because of their efforts, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has affirmed the powers of the city’s citizen planning board, the Mayor has developed a mill revitalization package, the state has a new investment tax credit for historic commercial and industrial buildings and the entire city has a heightened consciousness of the value of these buildings to our past and to our future. The coalition is recognized for the profound impact the coalition’s efforts has had on the future of Providence’s important mill buildings

Volunteer of the Year Peter Armitage

In 2001, Peter Armitage was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for his long-time dedication and service to the Providence Preservation Society. Since the 1970s, when Peter came to PPS to inquire about an architectural detail that caught his attention, Peter has been lending his time and talents to the Society in a number of ways. Peter was responsible for the design of five tour books, including Benefit Street, Downtown, the Waterfront, the Armory District, and Brown University, as well as the second edition of the Benefit Street guide. Peter has also designed Preserving Providence, the PPS newsletter. His talent as a graphic designer, as well as his appreciation for historic architecture makes him an invaluable asset to the Society. The PPS honored him for his many years of service to the Society and the City of Providence.

2000 PPS Awards

Landscape/Open Space Convergence Art Festival

Convergence International Arts Festival is a Providence Department of Public Parks success story. Since its inception over thirteen years ago by innovator Bob Rizzo, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Parks Department, the festival has grown from a one-day event in Roger Williams Park to a full-fledged international arts festival in downtown Providence and beyond. This year, with the assistance of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s Division of Tourism, Convergence now shares its achievement with cities and towns across Rhode Island. While the array of activities included in the festival is astonishing, it is the sculpture that makes the festival unique. The festival is an incubator for future success, commissioning artists to create works and events to be shared with the community. Gallery Night Providence and WaterFire Providence both began as part of the Convergence Arts extravaganza. The art work re-defines the newly carved public spaces of Waterplace Park, Memorial Park, and the River Walk. The work also converts vacant urban parcels into a public museum for contemporary art. Convergence and the creativity it produces stands as a reminder that Providence is a city that embraces its public space and celebrates the arts as a part of everyday life.

Landscape/Open Space Friends of Blackstone Park

Blackstone Boulevard was commissioned by the proprietors of Swan Point Cemetery in 1892 to provide better access to the cemetery from the then more densely settled part of Providence. Designed by the nationally known landscape architect Horace W. S. Cleveland, Blackstone Boulevard and Blackstone Park are important examples of the informal parkways and open spaces built around the turn of the century. Recognizing the constant need for maintenance, care and resources, concerned neighbors formed the Friends of Blackstone Park & Boulevard, a non-profit organization dedicated to the stewardship and improvement of these important urban green spaces. The Friends of Blackstone Park & Boulevard, together with the City of Providence Parks Department and Forestry Department, have led the way in maintenance, public improvements and enhancements, as well as addressing long-term environmental remediation for Blackstone Park’s York Pond. Through successful advocacy, fundraising and neighborhood initiatives, the Friends of Blackstone Park & Boulevard developed an ambitious landscape plan to recapture the emphatically rustic design created by Horace Cleveland in 1904. Whether cycling or motoring down the Boulevard or jogging along the newly surfaced central pathway, the many achievements of the Friends of Blackstone Park & Boulevard enhance significantly the physical attributes of this area and may be enjoyed by all.

Adaptive Reuse Pilgrim Mills

The adaptive reuse of the former Pilgrim Mills (1872) Complex has ushered in a new sense of excitement for residential living in downtown Providence. The Armory Revival Company undertook a most ambitious project to transform the former Bower’s Block into seven luxury residential condominium units and one street level restaurant. Designed by Stone & Carpenter in 1872 to meet the growing commercial needs of North Main Street, the building’s original cast iron storefronts were much altered in later years. Armory Revival Company successfully integrated the architect’s original exterior brick and stone trim with contemporary materials. Interior floor plans and amenities meet the highest standards for residential living. Ambitious site work by the developer produces secured parking at the rear of the building in the former carriage house and on the adjacent land once occupied by the long-defunct rail beds of the East Bay bound freight trains. Occupancy of 101 North Main Street ushers in twenty-four hour activity in what is destined to become one of Providence’s most fashionable neighborhoods for urban living.

Adaptive Reuse What Cheer Bed and Breakfast – Nicholson/Pettis House

Owner Frank Hopton’s reuse of the Nicholson/Pettis House located at 73 Holden Street as the What Cheer Bed & breakfast is an example of efforts being made to preserve and revitalize the Smith Hill National Register Historic District. Responding to the popularity of B&B’s within the hospitality industry, Mr. Hopton successfully converted this two-family dwelling into five spacious suites for guests, retaining many of the building’s original interior architectural features. Exterior restoration included the repair and painting of the turned porch posts and emblematic fish-scale shingles decorating the cross gables. The conversion and restoration of this Providence vernacular, income-producing house demonstrates the importance of preserving diverse forms of our architectural heritage which are sadly disappearing from our neighborhoods due to neglect and lack of appreciation. Mr. Hopton’s commercial investment in Providence’s Smith Hill neighborhood has motivated other property owners to restore adjacent properties, thus strengthening the character of this small but important 19th century National Register Historic District.

Institutional Preservation Pendleton House RISD

In 1904, S. O. Metcalf donated Pendleton House to exhibit the Charles L. Pendleton collection of American furniture – the first American decorative arts collection to be installed by a museum in a contextual setting. In 2000, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art engaged Haynes / deBoer Associates of Providence, Rhode Island, to rehabilitate and expand the Pendleton House museum facility originally designed by Stone Carpenter & Wilson. The rehabilitation plan enabled RISD to increase conservation and administrative space, and upgrade and disguise mechanical and security systems. The project architect maximized the utilization of historic building elements in the completed project, carefully complementing the original exterior that was based on the work of John Holden Greene. The interior spaces were dismantled, refurbished and reassembled, using historic color schemes and textile designs. As a result of this sensitive rehabilitation, RISD ended up with a state-of-the-art facility that sympathetically incorporates the design of the Pendleton House into a museum that now serves as a regional and world-class cultural institution.

Institutional Preservation Smith Buonanno Hall, Brown University

In 2000, Brown University engaged William Kite Architects, Inc. of Providence, to restore and rehabilitate the former Sayles Gymnasium designed by the architectural firm of Stone Carpenter & Wilson. The deteriorating exterior of the building, which detracted from the historic Pembroke Campus quadrangle, was sensitively restored and rehabilitated as a state-of-the-art general classroom facility. University administrators and the architect formulated an adaptive reuse plan for the obsolete interior. The reuse plan enabled Brown University to increase its classroom space and customize interior areas to meet student technological requirements for the new century. The entire project maximized the utilization of historic building elements in the completed project. In addition to the extensive interior rehabilitation, the exterior of decorative terra cotta and red brick was carefully restored to its original condition. As a result of this sensitive, reuse, Brown University ended up with a code compliant, modern facility that neatly incorporates the historic elements of the building into the final product, proving that venerable institutions can find new uses for old treasured buildings.

Private Residential Thomas Pierce, Jr. House

The restoration of the Thomas Pierce, Jr. House (1867) is an example of efforts made to preserve the late 19th century elegance of Broadway. With the assistance of the Providence Preservation Society Revolving Fund, the owners, Kent and Marisa Millard, restored the exterior of their house in a manner that highlights its bold architectural detailing. Restoration work included structural and drainage repairs, new roofing, historically sensitive painting, and the repair and replication of important architectural features of the cupola, bay windows, heavy window caps, and modillion cornice. With the painstaking restoration of their mansard-roofed Empire style house, the Millard family has demonstrated their long commitment to historic preservation and investment in Providence’s neighborhoods. The restoration of this corner property helps to preserve Broadway as one of the city’s most interesting and impressive late 19th century boulevards, reinforcing the efforts underway by the local historic district.

Neighborhood Revitalization 1390 Westminster Street, West Broadway Neighborhood Association

The restoration of 1390 Westminster Street demonstrates how a once derelict building can be transformed into affordable housing for first-time low income homebuyers. With the development expertise of the Providence Preservation Society Revolving Fund, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA) purchased the three-story Italianate villa with its hooded windows, elaborately bracketed cornice and portico. This major rehabilitation included a reduction of the number of units from five to three and a restoration of the two commercial units located at street level. Once a prime target for vandalism, the Silas B. Brown House rehabilitation has brought new residential and commercial life to the Westminster Street neighborhood. The project has already had a positive impact on the neighborhood, acting as a catalyst for other rehabilitation work in the area. WBNA’s risks associated with property ownership and rehabilitation of the Silas Brown House proved to be successful – building community pride and initiating the transformation of this historically significant neighborhood.

Neighborhood Revitalization Elmwood Residences – “Home Again" Project

Throughout 2000, homeowners and contractors were hard at work undertaking a variety of home improvement projects as part of Bob Vila’s “Home Again” Neighborhood Project. This is the first time in eleven seasons of programming that BVTV chose to select eleven houses in the same neighborhood. Impressed with the architectural diversity and neighborhood character, Bob Vila moved the project forward. Filming was phased over time, contractors were hired and design decisions were made by homeowners and Mr. Vila. Preservation Cooperative was engaged as the local project manager and consultant. Homeowners who participated in the program included: Brent Bachelder, 195 Lenox Street; Peter Karczmar and Catherine Lund, 225 Adelaide Avenue; Don DeSantis and Ron Hirschauer, 232 Adelaide Avenue; Paul Strak and Amelia Henderson, 207 Lexington Avenue; Pat and Roger Simons, 224 Adelaide Avenue; Mark and Christina Macheska, 203 Lexington Avenue; Jane and Luke Driver, 78 Melrose Street; Robert and Krystal Emanuel, 76 Adelaide Avenue; Judi Lee, 85 Adelaide Avenue; Berry-Jean Murry and Celeste Duclos, 239 Adelaide Avenue; and James Verity, 183 Adelaide Avenue. The “Home Again” Project has impacted Elmwood residents in a way that fostered both a sense of community and an enhanced appreciation for their built environment and neighborhood surroundings.

Neighborhood Revitalization Marquee, Providence Performing Arts Center (Loew’s State Theatre)

As part of the ongoing and meticulous restoration of the Providence Performing Arts Center (Loew’s State Theater), Alan Chile, PPAC General Manager and Lynn Singleton, PPAC President, spearheaded an effort to return the visual excitement of the theater to Weybosset Street. The PPAC successfully fabricated the dramatic blade sign and marquee, relating their design to clues taken from historical images of the Loew’s State and other venues at a time when Downcity was aglow from its numerous entertainment palaces. Despite the historic look and appeal of the sign, the marquee integrated 21st century technology. This lively addition to the Providence Performing Arts Center conveys a sense of excitement and vibrancy to the streetscape. The sign and marquee function as a beacon in the urban landscape, signaling that arts and entertainment are alive and well in Downcity.

1999 PPS Awards

Institutional Preservation Burrill Building, 291 Westminster Street, Johnson & Wales University

Located at 291 Westminster Street, the Burrill Building is best known to many Rhode Islanders as the former Gladdings Department Store. When Gladdings closed its doors in 1974, this long five-story American Renaissance style building sat vacant and abandoned for two years. Johnson & Wales University purchased the building in 1976, using it for classrooms and a student-run retail store on the first floor. After being situated in the building for many years and with its growing downtown campus, Johnson & Wales embarked on a complete upgrading of the interior of this facility, as well as an exterior restoration which was sympathetic to the building’s historic character. Exterior work included repair of the bracketed cornice, soffit caps and round-arched windows. The brick and stone was cleaned and repaired and the wood trim painted. Johnson & Wales ended up with a code compliant, modern facility that neatly incorporates the original architectural features into the final product. The Burrill Building restoration project demonstrated good stewardship of our downtown historic resources by an institution that demonstrates tradition of reusing older buildings in its creation of a unique and exciting urban campus.

Institutional Preservation Colonial Apartments

Rhode Island School of Design, in consultation with Cutler Associates of Worcester, MA, and the architectural firm of Lerner Ladds, successfully rehabilitated the Colonial Apartments. RISD customized the apartments to meet contemporary student preferences and maximized the utilization of historic building elements in the project. In addition to the rehabilitation of the dormitory rooms and the building’s exterior, the elevated courtyard was restored, including repair to the fountain. With the completed project, the Colonial Apartments once again contributed to the character of historic Benefit Street, while serving as a desirable living space for RISD students in close proximity to the college campus.

Commercial Preservation Owen Building, 101 Dyer Street

Koffler Associates has demonstrated its appreciation of the historic Owen Building located at 101 Dyer Street by sensitively restoring the exterior features of this handsome mid-nineteenth century commercial building. Its trapezoidal shape, cast-iron storefronts and slate mansard roof distinguish this important structure. Some of the restoration work included the repair of the numerous regularly spaced sashes and the round-arched windows, re-pointing and cleaning of brickwork, and the painting of the cast-iron and wood trim. Located prominently at the edge of the Providence River, the Koffler Associates set a high standard for future development in this area. The Own Building and the adjacent Hay Block make a striking urban edge and recall the days when the Providence River was packed with boats and ships which were docked at the nearby wharves.

Residential Preservation Sarah Irons House, 1536 Westminster Street

The Sarah Irons House located at 1536 Westminster Street was restored to its original architectural detail by Attorney Mark Liberati. Its many decorative roof brackets were carefully restored, together with the bracketed portico, round-arch attic windows and molded window caps. Attorney Liberati also restored the wide cornerboards characteristic of Greek Revival architecture. This commercial rehabilitation sends out a clear message that upper Westminster Street is a viable commercial corridor well worth private investment. The restoration of the historic Sarah Irons House as professional office space helps to anchor and stabilize this commercial area.

Residential Preservation 54 and 58 Dexter Street, Armory District

The restoration of 54 and 58 Dexter Street demonstrates how the fabric of a once derelict part of the street can be “re-woven” to create a neighborhood. With the assistance of the Providence Preservation Society Revolving Fund, 54 Dexter Street was restored in a manner that respected its Greek Revival style. This once vacant and boarded-up house was a prime target for vandalism. Its owner, Margaret Carlton painted it a lively yellow color, symbolic of its renewed life. Asphalt pavement and weeds have been replaced by beautiful gardens created by Ms. Carleton.

Its immediate neighbor, 58 Dexter Street, reflects the same pride in ownership. The original house that stood at 58 Dexter Street was severely damaged by fire and torn down. The Revolving Fund filled this void in the streetscape by moving another derelict house (one located directly behind 54 Dexter Street) onto the site. The restoration of the “new” 58 Dexter Street by its owners Virginia Branch & Glenn Buie, not only complements the adjacent restoration but also recreates the all-important “edge” and continued “rhythm” of houses lining the street. Together with the painstaking restoration of their Empire style house, Virginia and Glenn have also created beautiful gardens that are enjoyed by the entire neighborhood. The restoration of these two Revolving Fund houses has helped to dramatically transform an important part of the Dexter Street neighborhood.

Residential Preservation Candace Allen House

Dr. Richard Wagner and Dr. Elizabeth Wheeler have restored the Candace Allen House to its former grandeur. The Corinthian entrance portico has been restored and painted, the ornamental ironwork has been repaired and the terraced lot is beautifully landscaped. The owners have carefully replaced the eaves balustrade, restoring architect John Holden Greene’s original design. The house proudly stands as an important example of one of Providence’s best Federal designed residences.

Adaptive Reuse Empire Restaurant (Packard Showroom)

Thanks to the creative reuse efforts of Cornish Associates, the former Packard Motor Car Dealership located at 123 Empire Street has been restored to its former dignity as a fine restaurant. The building was in need of major repair and served as an adult bookstore for many years. The restoration included the cleaning and repair of the glazed-polychrome terra cotta façade with dramatic results. The Empire Restaurant is one of the few small buildings of the period in Providence so richly detailed, owing to the prestigious image of the Packard Motor Car Company. The Chicago-style windows on the second floor afford patrons ever-changing views of city activity. The elaborate ornamentation is similar to that of the Majestic (Trinity) Theatre across the street. They make a handsome pair architecturally and complement each other with respect to their use.

Material Conservation Fleur de Lys Murals

This year, the Providence Art Club engaged John B. Vaughan, Architectural Conservator and principal of Architectural Conservation Services, Inc. (ACS), to restore and repair the fanciful exterior panels originally executed by Sidney Burleigh on the Fleur de Lys Studio in 1885. Mr. Vaughan worked on the molded-and-painted stucco decorations on this medieval-inspired landmark building located at 7 Thomas Street. Mr. Vaughan commenced work by developing a sensitive methodology for working with this important artwork. ACS conducted a thorough color analysis to determine the original color palette that was masked by prior inaccurate restorations, as well as by years of accumulated city grit and grime. Mr. Vaughan developed and tested several paint recipes prior to full application. The resulting restoration was no less than dramatic. The brilliant and diverse colors of the murals spark excitement and imagination to the observer. Thanks to the Providence Art Club and the craftsmanship of John Vaughan, Sidney Burleigh’s murals will captivate and amuse us for years to come.

Landscape/Open Space Lippitt House Fountain

Preserve Rhode Island has restored and returned to its original site, the Lippitt Fountain. The 28-foot tall fountain once again serves as the outdoor centerpiece of the Lippitt House’s landscape. Several years prior to its restoration, the Lippitt fountain was disassembled and located in the various gardens of Roger Williams Park. During the 1980s the fountain was vandalized and the original putti were stolen and never recovered. Key to the project’s success was the generosity and determination of Frederick and Mary Ann Lippitt, together with skill and craftsmanship of Kevin Prest, Kane Studios and Pools by Richard. The stunning and unique fountain not only adorns the lawn of the Governor Henry Lippitt House, but can be seen and enjoyed by passersbys on Hope Street.

Landscape/Open Space Neighbor’s Lane, College Hill

Through the efforts and dedication of area residents and Councilman Robert Clarkin, this 18th century cobblestone carriage lane was restored and improved by the City of Providence. Neighbors’ Lane is tucked between John Street and Williams Street running north and south. This narrow vehicle pathway was re-graded and improved for more efficient storm drainage and the cobblestones, granite slabs and curbing reinstalled. The lane is one of the small and somewhat hidden gems of the College Hill streetscape. Neighbors’ Lane is a passageway to the past that helps us understand the early street development and settlement patterns of College Hill. As a result of its restoration, it will continue to charm both residents and visitors for many years to come.

Neighborhood Revitalization Triangle Project, Smith Hill Community Development Corporation

During the past three years the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation has concentrated its efforts on a major neighborhood revitalization program which includes a comprehensive $4.5 million, 30-unit rental production program marketed towards residents who are at or below 50% of the median income. The development encompasses the rehabilitation of fifteen properties, ten houses comprising 2, 3, and 4 bedroom units, creation of green space, off-street parking, tree planning, new sidewalks, improved lighting, and traffic control. The development will be completed in December 1999, with full lease-up by January 2000. Funding for the development was secured through the HUD HOME program, the Lead Hazard Reduction Program, Rhode Island Housing, Low Income Tax Credits, and Seedco, a national intermediary. The project was also made possible through the support of Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr. and the City of Providence, Councilman Terrence M. Hassett, architect Joseph Cornwall, and the general contractor, Pezzuco Construction, Inc. This project created a dramatic positive effect on the Goddard Street neighborhood, and community pride was once again able to take hold throughout Smith Hill.

1998 PPS Awards

Citation Mohican Hotel

Citation Willow St. Redevelopment

Citation Benefit St. House

Citation Providence Children’s Museum

Citation Ladd Observatory

Citation West Broadway Neighborhood Association

Citation Shepard’s Building

1997 PPS Awards

Residential Rehabilitation 81 Benefit Street, Armory Revival Company

Until 1996, an unpolished jewel sat in the midst of Benefit Street’s Mile of History. 81 Benefit Street was originally built in 1835 but received numerous additions and a rear house during the nineteenth century. The entire complex had sustained serious structural damage from deferred maintenance and presented a challenge to any potential buyer. The Armory Revival Company has completed a wonderful condominium project that has fully restored all of the older building fabric and added two new sections. Under the direction of architects Estes & Company, the complete renovation, new stone walls, brick terraces, fencing and landscaping assures that this complex now enhances Providence’s most famous street.

Residential Rehabilitation Morris Brown House

One of the oldest houses in the Blackstone neighborhood, the 1793 Morris Brown House had been restored in 1931 in collaboration with Colonial Revival architect Norman Isham. By the time Nancy Sherren purchased the building in 1990, it had gone through decades of benign neglect. This rehabilitation of the house is highlighted by a sensitive new addition, thoughtfully updated kitchen, and plastering done by the owner herself.

Adaptive Reuse 15 Cedar Street, Steven Goulding

Small industrial buildings like the parking garage at 15 Cedar Street in the Federal Hill neighborhood are often difficult to reuse. However, business owner and designer Steven Goulding saw an opportunity for a unique residence and roomy workspace. Overcoming challenges like deteriorated steel casement windows and floor-level changes, he created a stunning urban space, highlighted by an open floor plan, wonderful views of the city, and a drive-in living room. This project shows how loft housing can be successfully installed in Providence’s historic buildings.

Residential Adaptive Reuse Former St. Maria’s Home, OMNI Development Corporation

Built by Joseph Banigan for the Catholic Church in 1893, the St. Maria’s Home for Working Girls had for twenty years been a run-down eyesore on Providence’s East Side. Listed on the PPS Ten Most Endangered Properties List in 1994, its future was in doubt until the OMNI Development Corporation purchased the building in 1994 under the leadership of Executive Director Joe Caffey. The team of Vision III Architects, H.V. Collins Construction, FJS Associated, and the PPS Revolving Fund produced a rehabilitation that maintains the building’s historic character while providing 57 units of elderly housing with all new systems and handicapped access. Besides the now handsome exterior, the highlight of the project was the restoration of the former chapel and its stained glass, which now serves as the community room.

Materials Conservation Fleur de Lys, Providence Art Club

Often, the most famous historic buildings and streetscapes appear to remain ageless. For example, it was with the National Historic Landmark Fleur de Lys building, owned by the Providence Art Club. However, under the well known façade, the decades had eroded wood, cracked stucco panels, and warped internal beams. With expert direction from Buildings Committee Chair Clark Schoettle, and the fine work of Abcore Contractors, steel was inserted to reinforce the sagging bay. Exterior wood was consolidated, coated and painted to preserve the original fabric in place. Conservationists John Vaughn, Alexandria Mason, and Christopher Emory of Architectural Conservation Services restored the trademark exterior masonry panels to sound condition while applying coatings that will seal them from further damage.

Public Building Preservation Leviton Factory Conversion, City of Providence

The former Leviton Manufacturing complex in the city’s West End had sat vacant for some time when the owner and the City of Providence arrived at a unique collaboration. With Leviton generously donating the buildings to the city, officials could focus on converting the former factory into a state-of-the-art educational facility. This policy of adaptive use of existing historic buildings in a neighborhood complex, over a policy of demolition and new construction, is to be greatly commended and will serve as a model for future projects.

Public Building Preservation Secretary of State Information Center

The historic Rhode Island State House is known for its ornate legislative chambers and awesome rotunda. An innovative project in the basement has revealed a fascinating piece of Rhode Island history while serving and important public service. Until 1997, legislation was stored in a dingy basement area stocked with World War II surplus shelves. Working with consultant Ann Grasso, Secretary of State James Langevin has established a user-friendly Public Information Center while highlighting the history of the State House. Wherever possible, historic materials were reused, and all new materials installed draw from historical references.

Commercial Rehabilitation Slade & Garr Buildings, Rhode Island Housing

Like many buildings in downtown Providence, the Slade and Garr Buildings had, until 1997, seen many failed plans, foreclosures, and almost complete vacancy. Rhode Island Housing, in need of a new headquarters, steeped in to show real leadership in downtown renewal. The three million dollar restoration of these buildings was completed without any taxpayer subsidy. While the interior of the buildings have been refurbished and integrated as Rhode Island Housing offices, the exteriors have received a bright restoration, including the reinstallation of the prominent corner tower and appropriate Victorian colors.

Institutional Preservation Rhode Island School of Design

Intermingled with the historic residential and commercial architecture of Providence’s East Side, the Rhode Island School of Design has achieved international excellence with its academic reputation. In the past five years, the school has also led the way in stewardship for the historic buildings on its campus. From the painstaking restoration of small residential houses on Angell Street, the improvements at the Museum, and through the innovative design for adaptive reuse projects like 161 South Main Street, RISD has contributed to its neighborhood. Highlighting the community-minded nature was the process for its now complete Institutional Master Plan, which is a model for inclusive planning efforts.

Corporate Leadership Narragansett Electric

While energy suppliers nationally have abandoned many historic power stations and center city locations, Narragansett Electric has increased its leadership in Providence. The gigantic re-powering of the Manchester Street Station was a successful blend of exterior rehabilitation, compatible new design by architect William Warner, and state-of-the-art energy technology. While the now off-line South Street Station could have been a candidate for demolition, it will now be reused as the home of Heritage Harbor in a unique partnership between Narragansett Electric, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and dozens of other heritage groups. Beyond the buildings, the waterfront of Providence has been improved by the construction of Collier Park and the river walks and docks. Lastly, Narragansett Electric and its parent company NEES have continued their philanthropic leadership in the field of historic preservation.

President's Award William Jordy (posthumously)

In the world of American architectural history and historic preservation, Professor William H. Jordy (1918-1997) was preeminent. His scholarly legacy includes the landmark series American Architects and Their Buildings (with William H. Pierson, Jr.) and Buildings on Paper: Rhode Island Architectural Drawings 1825-1945 (co-written with Christopher Monkhouse). At Brown University, his courses on architecture and design were popular and enriching. His service with the Providence Preservation Society Board of Trustees and Planning and Architectural Review Committee and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission was invaluable in the work of those agencies. Historic preservationists and urban planners are often so busy with the methods of preservation that we lose sight of the deep and meaningful reasons for preservation. William Jordy reminded us about why buildings were important and why preservation was crucial to our community’s health and our sense of who we are.

President's Award H. LeBaron Preston

When Barry Preston came to providence in the 1970s, he saw a city with a strong preservation ethic, but he also saw a community facing the same problems as many American cities. Never one to turn from a challenge, Barry threw himself into the preservation struggle. His volunteer efforts as a trustee of PPS and the PPS Revolving Fund, and his successful terms as Presidents of both organizations highlight his leadership in historic preservation. Additionally, his professional role as a partner in the Armory Revival Company, Barry has played a crucial role in the revitalization of the Armory District by bringing the private sector to bear in residential rehabilitation and contextual new housing.

1996 PPS Awards

Commercial Adaptive Reuse Federal Reserve Restaurant

Located in the 1901 Union Trust Company Building, one of Providence’s most architecturally significant structures, the Federal Reserve Restaurant is a welcome new addition to the city’s strong dining scene. The ornate Union Trust Company Banking Hall was adapted through the ingenious use of a sympathetically designed mezzanine level that accommodates guests above and provides space for the kitchen below. Federal Reserve owners Bob and Anne Burke, and building owner Granoff Associates collaborated to provide Providence with a grand restaurant experience in a magnificent architectural space.

Neighborhood Revitalization Adelaide Avenue

Adelaide Avenue is in the heart of the South Elmwood National Register District. Composed of grand houses constructed in the late 19th century, it is perhaps one of the finest streetscapes in the city of Providence. The Elmwood Foundation joined forces with the Providence Plan Housing Corporation for the acquisition, substantial rehabilitation, and resale of six abandoned buildings, lifting the entire street with the success of this major neighborhood revitalization project.

Residential Rehabilitation Ziegler House

Built in 1911 in the Craftsman style, the Mattie C. Ziegler House is at the Lenox Avenue gateway to Elmwood. A unique house in the neighborhood, it had a serious fire before it was acquired by the Providence Plan Housing Corporation. Immediately, a new owner, Joanne Brown stepped forward to purchase the house. The restoration by Queen’s Construction Company was exacting, including remilling of interior woodwork, custom replications of the windows and a full exterior rehabilitation. Restoration of this caliber makes this project stand out among Providence’s many preservation efforts.

Residential Adaptive Reuse 67 Lloyd Avenue

In 1994, the Providence Historic District Commission was presented with an application to demolish a Shingle-style carriage house on Lloyd Avenue. Thankfully, the building was instead offered for sale and a team of sympathetic preservationists came to the rescue. Owners Stanley and Patricia Bodell worked hand in hand with contractor Jeremy Scherer of Suburban Renewal Company and Mary Brewster Architectural Studio to restore the exterior of the building and convert the interior into a spectacular new home. This innovative success story proves that preservation and reuse of all types of structures benefit the community.

Adaptive Reuse Vineyard Street School

Long-abandoned and unused, the magnificent Vineyard Street School was, for many years, a bedraggled landmark in the West End neighborhood of Providence. Several reuse plans for the building had been attempted and failed, when in 1994 Vineyard Housing Associates acquired the building, secured funding, and rehabilitated the building into a facility for elderly housing. Architects Garafalo & Associates and contractor O. Ahlborg & Sons worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission to save and rehabilitate this irreplaceable building.

New Urban Design and Reuse Narragansett Electric Manchester Street Station

In a landmark investment, the Narragansett Electric Company has changed the Providence skyline and waterfront for the better. The Manchester Street Repowering Project restored a 1904 landmark, added a sympathetic new Turbine Hall, and waterfront parks, all designed by William Warner & Associates. The project illustrates how economic redevelopment, historic preservation and new design can all work together to improve Providence.

Institutional Restoration Augustus Stout Van Wickle Memorial

One of the most symbolic landmarks on the campus of Brown University are the Augustus Stout Van Wickle Gates, built in 1901 they are opened only on two occasions: opening in for arriving freshmen and opening out for graduating seniors. Deterioration from age, material failure and environmental conditions necessitated a full restoration in which ironwork was cleaned, repaired and repainted, masonry completely rebuilt, and hardware improved. A highlight of the project was the rediscovery of the cast bronze elements that had been hidden under layers of black paint. The restoration was managed by the University’s Department of Plant Operations in cooperation with CBI Consulting, M&S Restoration and Ryan Iron.

Instituational Restoration Brown University's Gates

Corporate Leadership  The Providence Journal Company

From their initial support of historic preservation in 1956 to their current efforts in downtown providence, the Providence Journal Company has been a leader in recognizing and protecting the physical heritage of Rhode Island’s capital city. As a long-standing sponsor of the Society’s award-winning Festival of Historic Houses or support for the Heritage Education Program for Children, the Journal is a leader in the effort to maintain and improve the quality of life in Providence through the preservation of it historic resources.

President's Award Robert E. Freeman

In a variety of positions with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, the Massachusetts Land Bank, Urban Consultants, and then as Executive Director of the Providence Foundation, Rob Freeman achieved much in historic preservation of which we can all be proud. He helped coordinate the purchase and reuse of the historic Loew’s State Theater in downtown Providence, which is now the home of the Providence Performing Arts Center. Rob and his wife Vivienne Lasky co-authored the complete survey of Providence’s histories statuary. One of his last accomplishments was bringing together a diverse, successful coalition to hold and implement the Downcity Charette, which charted the restoration of Downcity Providence. But among all those accomplishments, it is Rob’s marvelous blend of wit, wisdom, vision and leadership that are remembered as his greatest contribution to historic preservation in Providence.

1995 PPS Awards

Preservation Planning City of Providence, Department of Planning and Development

Adaptive Reuse George W. Chapin House, Rhode Island College

Abandoned and open to the weather and vandals for years, the historic George W. Chapin House on the Rhode Island College campus was thought by many to be beyond salvation. Fire had destroyed the front stairs, entry area and a portion of the roof, and decay marked the 1870 building. Fortunately, the exterior granite walls of the building are a remarkable display of workmanship and solidity, and provided a base for the rehabilitation designed by Presbrey-Torrado-Architects. Through the efforts of Presbrey-Torrado-Architects and RIC President John Nazarian, the building has been converted to admissions offices, classrooms, and a lecture hall.

Residential Restoration 192 Atlantic Avenue

New Construction Speidel Corporation

Neighborhood Rehabilitation Bridgham-Arch-Wilson National Register District

1994 PPS Awards

Citation 20-22 Chapin Avenue

“By dint of his own hard work and considerable skills as a carpenter,” Karl Phillips has “restored and abandoned wreck,” the 1874 Lorenzo Horton House. Karl’s commitment of time, resources, and energy successfully restored a vacant, abandoned wreck into a beautiful and effective home. His talents have been applied to many other houses in the neighborhood, on the East Side, and on Nantucket, spent more than two years restoring his own house, with help from the Providence Preservation Society Revolving Fund. The Horton House now takes its rightful place as a significant component both on Chapin Avenue and within the Armory District.

Citation AS220

AS220 had the courage to undertake a major rehabilitation project at a time when downtown Providence needed it most, and fill the building with exciting exhibition, performance and artist’s loft space. Motivated by extraordinary vision and tenacity of Umberto Crenca and skillfully guided by Lucie Searle, Steve Durkee, and Tracy Brown, hundreds of volunteers—artists and musicians, business and construction people—joined together to renovate three underutilized, previously unremarkable downtown buildings. This widely successful incubator and showcase of Providence’s diverse artistic community has served as the catalyst for the creation of a Downtown Arts and Entertainment District.

Citation Central Congregational Church

To celebrate the centennial of its house of worship, Central Congregational Church completed a substantial restoration. Meticulous artisanry characterizes the exterior repair of the roof, brick work, and decorative terra cotta and the interior refurbishing of Schladermundt murals, Duffner Kimberly Co. stained glass windows, Guastavino tile ceilings, and woodwork. Landscaping improvements and new sidewalks reinforce the Carrere & Hastings building’s position within its historic neighborhood setting. Asbestos abatement and creation of a barrier-free entrance enable the building to safely serve the next century. Such stellar institutional stewardship sets a high standard for the community to follow.

Citation Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum

The Lippitt House museum has shown commitment to historic preservation through painstakingly having restored their dining room ceiling to its present glorious state. Complete restoration of the dining room ceiling at Lippitt House testifies not only to the commitment by the Heritage Trust of Rhode Island but also to the exceptional talent of Robert Dodge, whose restoration painting also enhances other rooms in the Lippitt House and the City Council Chamber at City Hall. His punctilious craftsmanship literally crowned the superb restoration of Providence’s greatest mid-nineteenth-century treasure.

Citation Regent Avenue School

The Regent Avenue School has shown commitment to neighborhood revitalization, by having transformed a vacant building into vibrant residential and studio space for artists. Eleven artists with insight, energy, and perseverance joined forces in 1991 and transformed the former grammar school from a vacant, dilapidated building into a lively cooperative of artists’ studios and residences. These individuals could see the building’s potential to foster creativity: huge windows provide ample natural light, and high ceilings and large open rooms encourage creative living and working spaces. The Regent Avenue School Residential and Art Studio Project demonstrates excellent adaptive re-use of a forgotten building.

President's Award Wendy Nicholas

This award was given in grateful appreciation and recognition of Wendy Nicholas’s thirteen years of accomplishment, advocacy, and leadership as Executive Director of the Providence Preservation Society. A preservationist whose advocacy touched every part of the urban fabric, she clearly articulated the Society’s vision for neighborhood preservation, community planning, and design excellence and, in the process, strengthened it and earned for it a national reputation.

President's Award John W. Wall

The Providence Preservation Society applauded John Wall’s commitment to historic preservation and longstanding dedication to the Society as friend, advisor, and trustee. John has drawn on his extensive knowledge of and involvement in business and the community to support the Society and historic preservation efforts time and time again. His quiet counsel and persistence persuaded countless business and community leaders of the importance of preservation to the future of our city and have built support for the work of the Society.

1993 PPS Awards

Citation Asset Protection Fund Committee

The Asset Protection Fund Committee expanded its stewardship role for state-owned historic properties in undertaking the painstaking restoration of the State Reception Room after sections of the elaborate plaster cornice collapsed. PPS applauded the committee and Fund Administrator Domenic Carbone, AIA, for their commitment to authentic restoration of the Rhode Island State House, one of the nation’s great architectural treasures.

Citation Hudson Street Market

Nancy Courtney and Jim Quinn revived an age-old neighborly tradition—the corner store. Their Hudson Street Market in the heart of the Armory District is food store, coffee shop, and front porch, where neighbors exchange the news of the day. The PPS saluted Nancy and Jim for extensive renovation of 68 Hudson Street and for their commitment to neighborhood small business.

Citation Frank E. Farnham House

John and Alice Elliott rescued this turn-of-the-century Queen Anne-style house in Elmwood, while maintaining the many of the original architectural details. The Elliots’ commitment to quality work and to the neighborhood already catalyzed other efforts. Once vacant for several years, with broken windows and a trash-strewn yard, the Farnhum House is now a glowing testament to neighborhood revitalization at work.

Citation St. Michael the Archangel Church

The Providence Preservation Society saluted Father Raymond Malm and the parish of St. Micahel’s Church for the inspired preservation of their historic 100-year-old church. St. Michael’s is a vital spiritual and social service center for the south side of Providence. The restored church edifice will provide inspiration, solace and shelter for generations of Rhode Islanders to come.

Citation Yossi Oz and Janice Thorp

The Providence Preservation Society applauded the nearly ten-year preservation efforts of Yossi Oz and Janice Thorp. They have renovated four badly deteriorated buildings on Wendell Street in the Armory District, where they currently had lived. One especially, 1-3 Wendell Street, was slated for demolition, but has been transformed from an eyesore to an appealing focal point of a prominent Armory gateway.

Citation Custom House

Built in 1855-57 and occupied by various federal government agencies until the mid-1980s, the Custom House was rejuvenated for use by the Rhode Island Judicial System. Now known as the Fogarty John Fogarty Building, it is a fine example of adaptive resuse, and the restoration of “the most important public building in the mid century.” Gerald Brothers & Associates skillfully transformed the domed, downtown landmark into courtrooms and offices, accommodating modern fire and building code requirements while retaining and restoring the distinguishing interior features.

Citation Nightingale-Brown House

The Nightingale-Brown House, built in 1792, by Colonel Joseph Nightingale and enhanced by five successive generations of the Brown Family, is one of America’s most significant China Trade houses. Over the years, however, insects and water attacked its structure, and collapse was imminent. Through extraordinary commitment, the Brown Family and the John Nicholas Brown Center completed an exhaustive six-year reconstruction campaign which ensures that the Nightingale-Brown House will remain a College Hill landmark.

President's Award Leslie A. Gardner

The Providence Preservation Society applauded Leslie Gardner’s vision and commitment to historic preservation and the Society. Serving as Trustee from 1978-1993, Leslie elevated her personal interest in history, old houses, and antiques to a broader vision of historic preservation as a tool to community-wide improvement. With eminent grace and charm, she persuaded hundreds of Providence residents and civic leaders to share her vision.

1992 PPS Awards

Citation Bell Funeral Home

The Providence Preservation Society salutes the John F. Cardoza family for its extraordinary stewardship of the Bell Funeral Home at 571 Broad Street. Designed in 1888 by prominent Providence architects Stone, Carpenter & Willson and built for a successful meatpacker, Israel Mason, 571 Broad Street was one of the finest houses in Providence when completed. While neighboring Broad Street mansions have deteriorated in recent years, the Cardozas went to great lengths to preserve the superb architectural quality of their home and its carriage house.

Citation Carleton Court Apartments

The Carlton Court Apartments give new life to the original church, school, and convent of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an important touchstone to French Canadian life in Providence, Our Lady of Lourdes has long been a neighborhood landmark. Carleton Court Limited Partnership, working with architect Stephen L. Faulk and general contractor O. Ahlborg & Sons, Inc., ensured the future of this significant complex as a focus of the neighborhood.

Citation Neal Estate

The Neal Estate embodies the intense, small-scale neighborhood revitalization efforts that make signal contributions toward correcting the course of historic inner-city areas. Beginning with the 1984 renovation of his own house, a carriage house at 95 Holden Street, Neal Kaplan established his firm, Neal Estate in 1985. The firm has concentrated its efforts in several blocks of Holden and eastern Jewett streets and count 6 projects to date. Clearly, an individual’s commitment to a neighborhood as a both resident and investor produces significant benefits.

Citation William O. Stanton House

The 1889 William O. Stanton House, with its distinctive polychrome slate and clapboard exterior, narrowly missed demolition. The house was burned and abandoned in the early 1980s. It was flipped from one real estate speculator to another in the boom of the late 1980s. In 1989, it was rescued by Craig Harris and his son, Jon. With assistance from the PPS Revolving Fund, Craig and Jon Harris undertook the extensive and painstaking restoration. Their work exceeded normal standards, and the house once again stands proudly in the Broadway-Armory National Register District.

Citation Swan Point Cemetery Crematory

Citation 212 Holden Street

Citation April H. Wolf

President's Award Wm McKenzie Woodward

Wm McKenzie Woodward was the 1992 recipient of the President’s Award for his strong support to the Preservation Society since joining the Board of Trustees in 1980. His scholarly research and writing about Providence’s buildings and neighborhoods have provided the foundation for many of the Society’s educational programs, publications, and positions on issues. He generously dedicated countless hours to PPS projects and served as learned counsel to staff and Trustees alike.

1991 PPS Awards

Citation Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Brownell Street
Citation Dexter and Hannah Pierce House
Citation 185-188 Atlantic Avenue
Citation Dr. Francis P. Walker Houses
Citation Ernest Street Pumping Station
Citation John Carter Brown Library Addition

1990 PPS Awards

Citation Conrad Building
Citation Grace Church
Citation Laurence Jones and Warren Purvi
Citation The Menagerie at Roger Williams Park
Citation Harrison Street Townhouses
Citation Union Train Station
Citation Barbara Jordan II

1989 PPS Awards

Citation A Sense of Place (TV Show)
Citation Albert T. Klyberg
Citation East Building of Union Train Station
Citation Superior House
Citation Studley Building
Citation Armory Revival Company

1988 PPS Awards

Citation  State House Restoration of the House and Senate
Citation Providence Fire Department
Citation Benjamin Arnold House
Citation Senator Sean O. Coffey

1987 PPS Awards

Citation  Trompe l’oeil
Citation Joan Rich
Citation 356 Carpenter Street
Citation New Train Station
Citation Providence: A Citywide Survey (book)

1986 PPS Awards

Citation The Commerce Center
Citation Old Court Bed & Breakfast
Citation Arcade Parking Garage
Citation Irving B. Haynes

1985 PPS Awards

Citation The Waite-Thresher Building
Citation Providence Art Club
Citation Fleet National Bank
Citation Anti-Arson Coalition
Citation Gilda Jeffery
Citation Old Providence Journal Building

1984 PPS Awards

Citation The Elmwood Foundation
Citation Dyerville Mill
Citation Hill Realty
Citation William Warner, AIA
Citation Gerald Howes

1983 PPS Awards

Citation  Richard Harrington
Citation Roger Williams Park
Citation Buildings on Paper
Citation Davol Square
Citation A.D Lippitt House

1982 PPS Awards

Citation Denise Craig and Mario Neri
Citation William Jordy
Citation Church of the Messiah
Citation Greater Providence Deposit & Trust

1981 PPS Awards

Citation  Deborah Dunning
Citation The Solomon Family
Citation New Homes for Federal Hill
Citation The Arcade

1980 PPS Awards

Citation The Wilcox Building
Citation The Forum Building
Citation The John Corliss Building
Citation The Bayard Ewing Building
Citation Paul & Robina Maixner
Citation S.W.A.P.

1979 PPS Awards

Citation The Ocean State Theater (Providence Performing Arts Center)
Citation The Omni Biltmore Plaza Hotel

1978 PPS Awards

President’s Award John N. Brown
President’s Award Antoinette F. Downing
President’s Award Mrs. William S. Allen
President’s Award Mrs. Malcolm Chace