Last Rites For Angell Street Houses

I’m not sure what can be done to save these buildings at this point, but their removal will leave a gaping hole in the neighborhood, leaving plenty of room for god-knows-what. The Providence Preservation Society sent out this update today:

PPS, Councilman John Goncalves and the College Hill Neighborhood Association hosted a vigil for the houses on 217, 211, and 209 Angell Street on Monday, November 20 with about 50 community members in attendance. The current owners and their plans for the location remain unconfirmed; despite public outcry, demolition has moved ahead. Neighbors witnessed what was likely lead and asbestos abatement interior demolition last week, and fencing was installed over Thanksgiving weekend.

The site of these houses has been hotly debated as a location for the Smart Hotel project, rejected by both the City Plan Commission and continued indefinitely by the Committee on Ordinances in 2022. PPS continues to oppose any attempt to re-envision a hotel for this location, as both its intended use and the demolition of residential units during a housing crisis are unacceptable.

Steve Ahlquist attended the vigil and filed this report:

“We’re gathered here today because these three beautiful homes behind me are set to be potentially demolished,” said Providence City Councilmember John Goncalves to the more than thirty College Hill residents who gathered across the street from 209, 211, and 217 Angell Street. The three buildings are set to be demolished, by owners unknown, and converted to a vacant lot. “While we were able to demand accountability and transparency and certainly buy time with our stop work order, given the lack of notice required by city ordinance, the owner and applicant were able to reapply for a demolition permit.

“So what does that mean? By legal right, the owners can move forward with the demolition. However, with no development plans in place, the demolition and subsequent empty lot here will leave a massive hole and scar in this neighborhood.” [Like the Duck and Bunny pit on Wickenden Street. BC]

How do we prevent this from happening again? Contact Mayor Smiley and your City Council representative.

More at the Brown Daily Herald.

[Thank you commenter for pointing out my terrible spelling gaffe! I have corrected it in the subject line where I had originally written it as “rights.” My father is rolling in his grave. BC]

 

2 thoughts on “Last Rites For Angell Street Houses”

  1. I live in a depression era building designated as a historic landmark. This status aims to preserve and protect the property from being demolished or significantly altered in a way that would detract from its historical or cultural value. The building is not in a historic district but receives protection anyway as a stand alone property. It’s not in Providence so maybe regulations are regional and not national.

  2. Mark Sawtelle

    Sorry to impinge on this sad, very worrying story, with a minor comment, but … it’s “last rites” (the sacrament that a Catholic priest gives to one about to die).

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