Project Insights: South Street Landing Redevelopment

As part of a new, ongoing blog series titled Project Insights, where we offer you a behind-the-scenes look into the world of mechanical contracting by highlighting the significance and methodology behind some of our larger projects, the following is the first installment of our look into the South Street Landing Redevelopment Project.

South Street Landing Redevelopment Project: Part 1

In the year 1912, on the land that comprises the city block between the Providence River and Eddy Street just south of downtown Providence, the very first brick was laid in what would become the 58,000-square-foot, multi-story South Street Power Station.

Constructed by the Narragansett Electric Lighting Company, South Street Station provided electricity to expanding jewelry, textile, and machinery manufacturing firms which were prolific throughout the area in the early 20th century. Electricity was still considered a relatively advanced technology at the time and its introduction and mass dissemination throughout Providence and neighboring municipalities would play an incredible role in the overall development of the state. The South Street Power Station exemplified this growth, as evidenced by its continuous expansion during its tenure, until its ultimate decommissioning in the 1990s.

Since then, the building has remained vacant; an empty, yet beautiful, shell complete with monstrous holes where giant boilers once sat. In the early 2000s the structure was scheduled to undergo a rehabilitation that would transform it into a shared space housing a statewide history museum and commercial fit-out. Unfortunately, while the physical building still stands, the bustling hub of manufacture and economic growth that once surrounded it has all but disappeared, and redevelopment plans collapsed during the Great Recession.

Until now.

The sounds of brick-laying, hammering, and welding can once again be heard at 360 Eddy Street, 104 years after the building’s initial construction. A facility that once provided power to bolster the growth of its industrial neighbors is now undergoing a transformation so that it may service its new academic surroundings; South Street Station will soon be a nursing education complex/administrative center to be utilized by URI, RIC, and Brown University.

Miraculously, much of the original 20th century structure has remained intact and in good repair. Its architectural style, which includes decorative brickwork, keystones, and piers, and its significant impact on the state landed the facility a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

As the mechanical contractor on the 086 editproject, slated to be complete by the spring of 2017, we are responsible for the design and installation of all the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection building systems. Fellow Arden Building Company, Unique Metal Works, is also on site fabricating and installing HVAC ductwork. Both Arden and Unique are lucky to have such a great team of men and women from Locals 51, 99, 669 and 17 on site each and every day ensuring that the project is being completed to the highest of standards.

Welcome to the South Street Landing Redevelopment Project. Follow us as we share the progress photos/updates and highlight this important addition to Providence, RI.

Sources:

Doherty, J. “South Street Station.” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. Heritage Harbor Corporation, Providence, July, 2004.

Kierstaead, M. “South Street Station.” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. PAL, Pawtucket, August, 2005.