Who isn’t breathing a sigh of relief for the Steel Yard today. Executive Director Howie Sneider posted this pic on Facebook with the following statement.
I am so thankful that the Steel Yard is okay after last nights fire, but the neighborhood will never be quite the same. I cannot thank the Providence Fire Department enough for their heroic and rapid response to the blaze. They truly are the only thing that stood between the fire and the Yard.
Our thoughts are with the owners as they must be shocked and disappointed to loose a historic mill and one that had so much potential for re-development.
Luckily, we can say the pagoda is still standing and the Yard will survive to see another day. For now, I am trying to embrace this as an opportunity for change in the neighborhood and be ready to offer my support, however it is needed, as the rebuilding begins.
The building at Kinsley Street — just across Sims from the Steel Yard, and the pagoda — was to be the site of Isle Brewers Guild, a craft brew coop; they had yet to purchase the building. IBG partner Jeremy Duffy spoke to the ProJo,
“We are assessing the situation,” he added. “But we remain steadfast in our commitment to Rhode Island and to the future success of the Isle Brewers Guild.”
The building also housed the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC), a medical marijuana advocacy group. Executive Director Joanne Leppanen made it clear that there was never any marijuana being grown in the building — the facility was used for education programs and meetings. Her comment posted today said in part,
We do not yet know the cause of the fire which seems to have started at the other end of the 90,000 square foot building. . . Amazingly enough, the fire did not reach the RIPAC offices but the water damage is extensive.
All parties gave big ups to the firefighters.