Neighborhood Opposes Bridgham Estate Subdivision

The historic Bridgham Estate at the intersection of Blackstone Boulevard and Rochambeau Avenue is such a singular property that it has actually been difficult to sell. First listed four years ago at $12.5 million, the price has since dropped to a very reasonable $4.95 million, and still no takers. The owners have now proposed that the property be subdivided into 10 single-family lots around the perimeter with two more lots for the existing buildings on the interior.

The clamor from the neighborhood was immediate. According to the Providence Journal,

The possibility of a subdivision — and the unknown of what it could look like — has spurred a groundswell within the Blackstone neighborhood. Hundreds have signed an online petition asking the Providence Preservation Society to take action. Some residents are going door to door.

More than 100 residents turned out for meetings of the Blackstone Neighborhood Organization last month and on Monday night to discuss how to preserve the historic character of the property.

It is remarkable that a residential property of this size (3.6 acres) still exists anywhere in the city, and unlike the grand estates of the nouveau riche with their massive hedges, it has not been hidden from view. Anyone on a walk can peer through the gates, or over the wall, and take in the Spanish revival villa and outbuildings amid the landscaped grounds with its mature trees, a colonnade, and a water feature. It really is a gem. The thought of those trees coming down and what might replace them is truly distressing.

Those opposing the plan will likely be out in force at the City Plan Commission meeting scheduled for 4:45pm, November 18, at 444 Westminster Street (directions).

bridgham gate

The gate on the corner.

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