Providence Preservation Society lists 2023 most endangered properties

THE PROVIDENCE PUBLIC SCHOOL District has been noted as the Providence Preservation Society's 2023 Most Endangered Properties. / COURTESY GOOGLE INC.
THE PROVIDENCE PUBLIC SCHOOL District has been noted as among the Providence Preservation Society's 2023 Most Endangered Properties. / COURTESY GOOGLE INC.

PROVIDENCE – The Providence Preservation Society on Tuesday released its 2023 Most Endangered Properties list, which will also be shared during the society’s annual meeting later Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The list notes places of architectural, historical and cultural significance that are at risk of being lost. The places, according to the society, also promote solutions that saves the sites for the betterment of the community at-large.

Along with once again noting the city’s most prominent skyscraper, the society’s 2023 list includes both the city’s struggling school district and also citywide infrastructure that, the society says, is at serious risk of being negatively affected by changing weather conditions.

  • The Providence Public School District, currently under control by the R.I. Department of Education, was noted for the second time by the society as being among the most endangered – it was listed in 2020. The society noted many aging school buildings, including the upcoming closing of two elementary schools, and states the city must invest in renovating the remaining current school buildings.
  • Providence infrastructure, according to the society, is “extremely vulnerable” to adverse weather. It cited the recent floods on area highways within the city and the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier “does not protect” against heavy rainfall and “nuisance” flooding.
  • Industrial Trust Co. Building, also known as the “Superman” building at 111 Westminster St., There is a $220 million plan to preserve the skyscraper and the City Council recommended a 30-year tax stabilization agreement to allow for the project to move forward.
  • Asa Messer Elementary School, 158 Messer St., an 1890s-era school building that is part of the Broadway-Armory Historic District on the city’s West End.
  • Humboldt Fire Station, 155 Humboldt Ave., a 1906 fire station that was decommissioned in 2017.
  • Providence Gas Co. Purifier House, 200 Allens Ave., a four-story building built in 1900 and is one of the only surviving projects of the Berlin Iron Bridge Co.
  • R.I. Department of Transportation Headquarters and Garage, 30 Arline St., first built in 1927 and is one of the only remaining examples of machine aesthetic architecture in Smith Hill.
  • Standardized Wholesale Liquors Co., 115 Harris Ave., has a distinctive shape notable for an “oversized and recessed opening and unusual proximity to the railroad tracks,” the society says.
  • Urban League of Rhode Island site, 246 Prairie Ave., which is slated to be demolished to make way for a community hub.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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