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By Kevin Shalvey
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE - Recommendations from a committee established in the wake of the demolition of the Providence Fruit & Produce Warehouse in January are the basis for an executive order – to establish “careful” deliberations for knocking down historic structures in Providence – signed last week by Mayor David N. Cicilline.
The recommendations came from the Working Group for the City of Providence Demolition Policy. The new procedure would require an approval from either the Historic District Commission or Downcity Design Review Commission prior to a building being demolished.
In a statement, Cicilline said the measure to protect Providence’s “unique character” is intertwined with efforts toward economic growth. “Our historic buildings are central to the city’s beauty, culture and charm,” he continued. “And as our city grows, future development must proceed in a thoughtful manner that respects our strong interest in historic preservation.”
The order also creates an emergency committee – made up of the city’s fire marshal, building inspector, director of planning and development and structural engineer – that could intervene if the building “poses a public safety hazard,” according to Cicilline’s office.