Historic Providence building targeted for demo

UPDATE: Lang says she has been told that the HDC voted to demolish the building.

. . . .

The West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA) is fighting to save the Louttit Laundry Building in Providence -- a repeat presence on the Providence Preservation Society's annual Endangered Properties list -- from demolition.

In a letter to Glen Fontecchio, chair of the Historic District Commission, WBNA executive director Kari Lang writes:

The West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNAA) objects to the request to demolish the Louttit Laundry Building.


Since 1998, the WBNA has worked to remediate the site and to preserve the historic Louttit Laundry Building.  We have:

• Written and secured grants to the EDC for remediation

• Gotten it nominated to the National Register of Historic Places to qualify it for Tax Credit monies

• Brought Senator Chafee to the building to announce his Brownfields Remediation legislation

• Enlisted Brown students to study its reuse potential which included merging sites which the city subsequently did

• Offered to use CDBG funds that were allocated to the WBNA to replace the roof

• Had Wil Yoder complete a Structural report that attested to its structural soundess

• With Armory Revival Company jointly requested being designated developer of the site

• Attended conferences at Project for Public Spaces on Public Markets as a reuse option

• Petitioned neighbors about reuse options

• Led Andres Duany and his team to the site for which they produced a renovation plan for the City as a part of Connecting and Completing Downcity Providence (the city did not publish this project in its report)

• And more.


Last year, the commission voted to require that the main façade of the structure be preserved.  A year has passed and no action was taken which only causes additional deterioration to the building.  Nonetheless, we feel confident that this façade could be preserved without disturbing the remediation that needs to occur and occur as soon as possible.  We are disappointed to hear that the designated developer and the city are not making efforts to follow your recommendation.


We remain committed to the Louttit Laundry Building and site and along with the City and the developer, will remain involved in its clean-up, ideally preservation, and redevelopment.

The HDC was slated to hear the demolition request yesterday. I'll post an update when additional details become available.

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