Boyd's Windmill Listed on the National Register
On October 21, RIHP&HC Executive Director Ted Sanderson joined Middletown Historical Society President Stan Grossman to dedicate the restored Boyd's Windmill and to celebrate its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1810, the mill was operated by six generations of the Boyd family from 1815 until just after World War II. Sanderson noted, "By preserving and interpreting the country's only eight-vane windmill, the Middletown Historical Society has created a vital link to the past for those who will guide our future." (11/21/01)
St. Elizabeth Home to be Converted into Providence's First Affordable Assisted Living Facility
Combining funding from Rhode Island Housing and the City's HOME program, private donations, and federal and state rehabilitation and tax credits, St. Elizabeth Home will undergo a $10 million renovation. At a October 15 press conference, Governor Lincoln Almond announced, "This project preserves a part of our past. It also represents a significant investment in the Elmwood neighborhood and promises to contribute to the quality of life of Rhode Islanders for years to come." Founded in 1882, St. Elizabeth Home has been located in a Elizabethan-style building at 109 Melrose Street since 1916. (11/21/01)
"To Restore America's Spirit"
Historic Sites Open House 11/12/01
On Monday, November 12, 2001, 45 historic sites around Rhode Island offered free admission to visitors. The day-long program, called "To Restore America's Spirit," was part of a nationwide initiative that encourages Americans to reconnect with the past this Veterans Day weekend. (11/15/01)
Kaiser Mill Project Complete
A total of eleven buildings in Bristol's expansive Kaiser Mill complex (ca. 1882) have been put back into productive use. The decade-long project transformed underused and vacant industrial buildings into elderly housing, museum and community space, offices, recreation areas, and an assisted-living and nursing home. The buildings underwent substantial rehabilitation, including rebuilding faulty structural systems, installing new windows, and cleaning and repointing the exterior brick and stone.
RIHP&HC helped the owners secure a $2.225 million federal tax credit for the $11 million project. The new senior living facility provides a home for many of the people who used to work in Kaiser Mill. Fully occupied and thoughtfully rehabilitated, Kaiser Mill stands as an impressive model for the reuse of other vacant mill buildings. (10/4/01)
The Bulls are Back at Colt State Park
Hometown heroes Conrad and Pomeroy are back in Bristol. The two bronze bull statues were designed by French sculptor Isidore Bonheur prior to 1865 and purchased by Samuel Pomeroy Colt for the entrance to his Bristol estate (now Colt State Park). Last year the bulls were removed for repair and conservation thanks to a federal Transportation Enhancement project. They returned in spring 2001 and were rededicated on August 21. Ted Sanderson, RIHP&HC executive director, is Chairman of RI’s Transportation Enhancement Advisory Committee which selects projects for funding. According to Sanderson, “With Enhancements, we recognize that transportation is about people, not just cars, and people care about preserving historic places and parks as well as highway construction. Enhancements help transportation to fit into a world where the experience of travel is improved and where historic and scenic destinations are preserved.”(8/22/01)
Lonsdale Mill House to be Rehabbed
RIHP&HC has recommended approval of federal tax credits for the rehabilitation of this mid-19th-century mill house in the Lonsdale Historic District in Lincoln. The building’s exterior will be restored with wood clapboards and trim to match the original. Interior rehabilitation will create four apartments. This building is one of seven mill houses included in the Lonsdale Village revitalization project. Cheers for the preservation of another historic mill house in the Blackstone Valley; these unique buildings continue to be great places to live. (8/10/01)
New State Tax Credit for Commercial Rehab
Rhode Island has adopted a new state tax credit for developers who fix up historic commercial buildings. On July 10, 2001, Governor Lincoln Almond signed a bill that allows owners to apply for state income tax credits equal to 30% of their rehab expenses. Potential projects range from large mills and downtown office buildings to historic stores and apartment buildings. By using the new state tax credits in combination with existing federal tax credits, developers can write off about half the costs of restoring their historic buildings. Rhode Island has about 900 commercial buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places that are eligible for the tax credits.