The former Police and Fire Headquarters, built between 1938 and 1940 and first occupied in 1940, was a four story, stone-sheathed, L-plan structure. Designed by architects in the Office of the Commissioner of Public Buildings, it was designed in the classicizing Art Deco mode with a pedimented façade and organic Art Deco details. Art Deco buildings are exceptionally rare in Providence, and this was one of the city’s most prominently sited examples, second only to the 1928 Industrial Trust skyscraper. The Headquarters’ height, materials, and simplicity complemented the more elaborate public library across the street. In 2002, the Police and Fire Departments moved into the new the Public Safety Complex at 325 Washington Street. The sixty-year-old station was deteriorating for some time, while neglect and improper security allowed it to become home to vermin, drug dealing, and the homeless. The building occupied a very crucial parcel on LaSalle Square, close to Trinity Repertory Company and the Providence Public Library.
LOST: The former Police and Fire Headquarters was purchased by The Procaccianti Group, which left the building unoccupied while they developed plans for a new building on the site. Their development plans provided for razing this important piece of Providence architecture and constructing an office tower with attached parking garage in its place. PPS included it on the 2007 Most Endangered Properties list. Following the Great Recession, the building was demolished but nothing built to replace it. As of February, 2019, the site remains vacant, serving as a parking lot.
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