Industrial Trust (Superman) Building

Ever since the Industrial Trust Building (1928) was vacated in April 2013, PPS has advocated for its adaptive reuse. We continue to educate the public about the Superman Building, as the Art Deco skyscraper is lovingly known, which remains the tallest building in Rhode Island.

In 2019, PPS was successful in having Superman listed on the National Trust of HIstoric Preservation’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places. This prompted national attention on Providence’s vacant skyscraper, while Superman continues to top PPS’ own Most Endangered Properties list annually– and will do so until a solution is identified.

In Spring 2020, PPS partnered with RISD’s Interior Architecture department to host the graduate design studio in adaptive reuse, Saving Superman. Under the difficulties of a pandemic-impacted semester, the architecture students produced seven creative and plausible reuse plans– from housing to entertainment to a vertical garden. These proposals were featured in the online, London-based magazine, Dezeen.

In October of 2020, in celebration of this architectural icon’s 92nd birthday, the Providence Preservation Society and Building Enclosure Science collaborated to produce a white paper to address common misconceptions and to highlight the adaptive reuse potential of this local landmark.

PPS strives to put Superman at the forefront of peoples’ minds so that as we face challenges in housing, education, and public health, this 92 year old landmark and the keystone of downtown Providence can be part of the solution and once again shine as the beacon of our city.

Check back here for continuing developments and follow us on social media @pvdpreservation.

2020 White Paper on the Industrial Trust Building

Superman Building named one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Superman celebrates its 90th birthday

Superman on the 2020 Most Endangered Properties List

Online Architecture Guide listing

RISD Saving Superman Studio

RI leaders discuss options for saving Superman Building

Local man brings ‘night light’ back to Superman Building

Superman Studio and PPS featured in London design magazine Dezeen

© 2020 Providence Preservation Society. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.