SWAP, Inc. - Stop Wasting Abandoned Property Rehabilitation and Neighborhood Revitalization Award
Lemuel Foster House, D. Russell Brown House; Nathan Truman House; Samuel D. Wickes House
Established in 1975, SWAP, Inc. (Stop Wasting Abandoned Property) was started by a group of Providence residents concerned about the blighting effects of unchecked demolition of abandoned properties on their neighborhoods. In the past 20 years, SWAP has invested nearly $100 million in South Providence, and the rehabilitation of these four historic homes (located in the Parkis-Comstock Historic District and the Pine Street Historic District) highlights the way in which SWAP preserves and enhances this neighborhood.
Having been foreclosed upon by different mortgage lenders, SWAP was able to acquire the houses, developing a unique plan for each building to respond to the needs of the community.
Built in 1887-1888, the Lemuel H. Foster House on Comstock Street was abandoned by the time SWAP acquired the building in 2009. A part of a comprehensive rehab, SWAP rebuilt the front porch, salvaged and repaired leaded glass windows, saved interior parquet floors, and repaired and refinished mahogany doors. In December of 2013, SWAP sold the Foster House to a first time, owner-occupant homebuyer.
The 1880 D. Russell Brown House, 1854 Nathan Truman House, and 1844 Samuel D. Wickes House on Pine and Friendship Streets were all rehabbed part of the Around Public and Friendship rental development. By utilizing both Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits, SWAP created several new affordable housing units while retaining each building’s historic integrity. Work included the complete exterior rehabilitations of each property, salvaging and reusing trim, and the installation of historically-accurate wood replacement windows.
SWAP would like to thank the Providence Revolving Fund, who assisted with the Historic Tax Credit applications, and David Presbrey Architects.