Another remnant, even more eloquent in its isolation than Congdon & Carpenter, these two brick buildings, typifying industrial form and activity from the mid-nineteenth century, are all that remain of a sequence of industrial complexes that stretched north and west from here along Charles Street. Redevelopment, demolition, and fire gradually claimed the rest. Fletcher (1 Charles Street), founded in Boston in 1793, moved to Providence in 1808 to manufacture narrow fabric, including twines, yarns, wicks, and boot, shoe, and corset laces; its imposing mansard-roofed office shows the architectural attention often given to mill offices (compare Wanskuck Mill Village and Nicholson File Co) to distinguish them from the more utilitarian quality of the buildings actually housing production. A late twentieth-century addition, attempting contextualism, somewhat diminishes the visual impact of the original. White’s foundry across the street illustrates that utilitarian quality; here the section with the tapering chimney and wind-adjustable vents identifies the foundry proper.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture