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The David Sprague House was built in 1840 as a cape style, single family home. Today the house stands among the oldest indigenous buildings in South Providence. This handsome five bay façade, center chimney cottage with a sidelight center entrance is typical of the farm dwellings throughout what was once Providence’s rural periphery. The house, listed on the National Register, was one of many in a densely settled Victorian neighborhood that would later witness widespread vacancy.

The house was brought to the attention of PPS at a time when disinvestment in the surrounding neighborhood in addition to plans for a new neighborhood school threatened to demolish the historic home. Community members, eager for a new educational facility, strongly favored the proposal despite necessary damage to the Sprague House. PPS responded to the proposed demolition by including the house on its Most Endangered Properties list from 1998 to 2000. PPS further looked to the Revolving Fund as a means to relocate and rehabilitate the David Sprague House as a residential property.

SAVED: The Harvard-Dartmouth-Comstock Streets Project included the David Sprague House in its plan to rehabilitate Upper South Providence by restoring old buildings while constructing new. Its sponsor, OMNI Development Corporation agreed to relocate the David Sprague House in order to save the house from demolition. OMNI is a community development corporation that rehabilitates historic property as affordable rental housing. The Sprague house has since been moved to 7 Harvard Street where the HDC Project has created forty-three units of affordable housing. Preservationists widely regard the David Sprague House’s MEP listing as among the primary factors that prevented its demolition.

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