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One of Providence’s most highly visible and visually distinctive mills features almost-twin circular-plan stairs towers topped with robust balustrades, high ribbed domes and tall lanterns (one now missing). These unique towers stand in front of one of the city’s first pier-and-spandrel-construction mills, and the relatively modest-sized windows, not fully exploiting the structural possibilities of that form, reinforce its early date. The eastern section, designed by Clifton A. Hall, was built in 1863 for the production of worsted cloth to supplement the original 1851 mill, on site of the supermarket to its east; the nearly identical western section followed in 1882. Across Aleppo Street is the company’s gasometer, one of the few remaining in the state (compare Wanskuck Mill Village). Stretching west along Manton Avenue are small workers’ houses, originally fifty-seven in all – a rare example of company-built housing in Providence. By the late 1800s, with 2,100 workers, this was the largest textile mill in Providence. It continued to manufacture textiles until 1953.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

 

The Atlantic Mills complex historically includes a collection of buildings on Manton Avenue with its original power source, the Woonasquatucket River, running behind it. One of Providence’s most highly visible and visually distinctive mills features almost-twin circular-plan stair towers topped with robust balustrades, high ribbed domes, and tall lanterns (one now missing).

These unique towers stand in front of one of the city’s first pier-and-spandrel-construction mills, and the relatively modest-sized windows, not fully exploiting the structural possibilities of that form, reinforce its early date. The eastern section, designed by Clifton A. Hall, was built in 1863 for the production of worsted cloth to supplement the original 1851 mill, on the site of the supermarket to its east; the nearly identical western section followed in 1882. Across Aleppo Street is the company’s gasometer, one of the few remaining in the state. Stretching west along Manton Avenue are small workers’ houses, originally fifty-seven in all- a rare example of the company-built housing in Providence. By the late 1880’s with 2,100 workers, this was the largest textile mill in Providence. It continued to manufacture textiles until 1953.

After difficulties competing with modern textile facilities in post-World War II New England, several small industries and businesses were housed in the space.

Although the mill structure is being utilized, the towers were falling into a state of disrepair when the complex was included on the Most Endangered Properties List in 2009, 2010 and 2014. As of February, 2019, some work has been undertaken on the tower’s roofs to halt deterioration of the structures below.

– 2017 Most Endangered Properties

© 2019 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved.
Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.