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The Downtown Providence National Register District was listed on PPS’s Most Endangered Properties list in four consecutive years from 2008 to 2011 for a variety of factors. At the time of its listing, the district was being compromised by public policy insensitive to preservation; poor quality new design; unregulated demolitions; and a declining real estate market. Fortunately, Providence’s downtown has seen positive changes towards preservation in recent years. Several formerly neglected historic buildings have recently been developed into residential units to meet the increasing demand for living spaces in the Providence’s downtown.

Three major historic landmarks that were all once individually listed as endangered properties have recently been given attention. The Teste Block along Dorrance Street was listed on the MEP list from 2007 to 2011 because it was sitting empty and was under the threat of demolition. As of 2015, the complex has been completely renovated as apartments and multiple food establishments. The George C. Arnold on building is another building that was restored in recent years. After a fire in 2009 put this historically narrow building under the threat of demolition, the building was been saved and converted into a mixed use space with commercial shops on the lower level and affordable residential units on the upper two floors. The National Bank façade, a dominant structure along Weybosset Street is all that remains from the building which was demolished in 2005 to make way for a proposed condominium development project that was never completed. After the original building was lost, the façade was listed on PPS’s Most Endangered Properties list from 2009 to 2011 because the structure was unstable, which required it to be held up by steel bracing that blocked the view of the façade along Weybosset Street. The bracing has since been removed and structural supports have been installed along the back of the façade.

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© 2024 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.