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A surprising addition to the list of Providence’s most-endangered properties

The Providence Preservation Society says the entire city is at risk -- and Mayor Jorge Elorza agrees

Providence, Rhode IslandShutterstock/Sean Pavone

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m definitely the kid who stuck snowballs in the freezer so I could throw them in the summer. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 112,396 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 572 new cases. The most-recent overall daily test-positive rate was 4.9 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 20.9 percent. The state announced 16 more deaths, bringing the total to 2,126. There were 346 people in the hospital, and 60,900 residents had received the first dose of the vaccine.


The Providence Preservation Society is set to add the entire city of Providence to its list of the city’s most-endangered properties, citing the growing threat of climate change and rising sea levels.

The nonprofit, whose mission is to improve the city by advocating for historic preservation, thoughtful design and planning, is scheduled to release its annual most-endangered list at a 4 p.m. meeting (register here) today, and the decision to attach the label to the entire city is likely to turn heads.

A community member nominated the city for the list, and Mayor Jorge Elorza said he supports the decision.

”We are a river city in the Ocean State, and the impacts of climate change and sea level rise will affect Providence’s built and cultural heritage in both incremental and profound ways,” the organization said in statement.

There are no immediate protections or actions that are implemented when properties are labeled as endangered, but it always touches off a discussion about ways to save the homes or buildings that typically occupy the list.


Here’s a quick look at the rest of this year’s list.

Prince Hall Masonic Temple (1893)

883 Eddy St., Lower South Providence

The temple was badly damaged by a fire on Christmas Day.

Industrial Trust Building, aka Superman Building (1928)

111 Westminster St., Downtown

The state’s tallest building has been vacant since 2013.

House (c. 1880)

234 Lenox Ave., South Elmwood

The home in one of Providence’s most iconic neighborhoods is for sale and in disrepair.

Grace Church Cemetery (1834, 1843, c. 1860)

10 Elmwood Ave., South Providence

The cemetery continues to be vandalized.

Broad Street Synagogue, aka Temple Beth El (1910)

688 Broad St., Elmwood

The 110-year-old building has been sold a couple of times, but remains vacant.

Victory Plating (1901-’08)

145 Globe St., Jewelry District

State regulators have approved the demolition of the building.

Arthur B. and Laura Weeks House (1886), Samuel Lewis House (1825), and Pilgrim Manufacturing (1941)

29 Elbow St., 137 Chestnut St., and 155 Chestnut St., Jewelry District

The Pilgrim Manufacturing building is facing demolition and a new 10-story mixed-use building will be shoehorned in between the other two properties.

Standard Wholesale Liquors Co. (1937)

115 Harris Ave., Smith Hill

The building is considered vulnerable due to its location and relative isolation.

Crook Point Bascule Bridge (c. 1908)

Spans the Seekonk River, Fox Point

While city leaders are still seeking creative ideas for the bridge, the state wants to demolish it.



⚓ Governor Gina Raimondo, a nominee to be President Joe Biden’s secretary of Commerce, was peppered with questions about China, broadband, fish, and the census from a group of mostly friendly Senators during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Read more.

⚓ Local restaurant owners told my colleague Alexa Gagosz that they fear local diners will cross the border to choose eateries in Massachusetts now that the Bay State’s COVID-19 business curfew has been lifted, further straining an industry that has struggled throughout the pandemic. Read more.

Ed Fitzpatrick reports that bankruptcies have plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they tend to be a lagging indicator when it comes to the health of the economy. Read more.

Amanda Milkovits writes that a man who was accused — and months later, cleared — in one of the most notorious homicides in Pawtucket’s history is accusing the local police and a forensic scientist at the Health Department of fabricating evidence in order to get publicity for solving a cold-case murder, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Read more.

⚓ The sale of the former Memorial Hospital property in Pawtucket has been finalized. Read more.


Politics I: My colleagues Jess Bidgood, Liz Goodwin, and Jazmine Ulloa look at how Washington, D.C. is working in a post-Trump world. Read more.

Politics II: Former Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III is launching a new political action committee aimed at bolstering grassroots organizing efforts in Massachusetts and overlooked states around the country. Read more.


Journalism: Former Globe editor Marty Baron is retiring as editor of The Washington Post. Read more.

Education: Teachers in Massachusetts aren’t thrilled that they’re being moved down on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine prioritization list. Read more.

Sports: Columnist Dan Shaughnessy writes that it’s a good thing that Curt Schilling wasn’t inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this season. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at

BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.

⚓ The Senate Education Committee will consider legislation to block new charter schools from being approved until after the 2024 school year. This would apply to the ones that were granted preliminary approval in December.

⚓ Year Up Rhode Island is holding a virtual graduation ceremony for its 31st class at 11 a.m.

⚓ Advocates are holding a virtual rally at 1 p.m. to call on state lawmakers to approve a package of child care bills during the current legislative session.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.