M.N. Cartier & Sons, Co.


Almost everytime I would go by this building, it looked like or reminded me of Loutit Laundry about a block over. Their façades are similar, though Loutit is much bigger. This little building has been vacant for a long long time, and parts of the first floor are completely gone inside. The sign on the side has a date of 2004, so someone had plans for it at some point, but it doesn’t look like it got very far.

This building is right next to 1153 Westminster Street.


From the ProvPlan/PPS survey2001:
It is a two-story, flat-roof, brick structure with a pedimented parapet centrally located on its façade. The first floor of the building has been boarded up, following a fire here in the 1990s. The building’s six-bay façade features classical elements including a symmetrical façade, oval windows with keystones set below the parapet, projecting piers between each bay, and stone sills. Side and rear elevations of the structure lack architectural ornamentation. Fenestration consists of regularly-spaced, replacement 1/1 sash windows. Paved parking lots are located to the east and west, both bound by chain link fencing.

The original owner of the building was the American Building Company (incorporated 1906), which occupied the building from 1892 to 1907. The property was purchased by Michel N. Cartier in 1907 for $13,175; the 1908 map identifies M.N. Cartier at this address. M.N. Cartier & Sons Co. were wholesalers of roofing materials including roof paints, concreters supplies, conductor pipe, eave troughs, metals, etc. They were also contractors for high grade slag and gravel roofing and concreting. City directories list the company as the largest receivers of roofing materials in New England.

A Baptist Church by the name of “Union St. Jean Baptiste Amerique” purchased the building in 1910 and retained ownership until 1919. The property changed hands several times between 1919 and 1935 when it was purchased by the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. John Hancock remained at the 1107 Westminster site from 1935 to 1941. Several small firms occupied space in the building throughout the mid-twentieth century. The 1983 Sanborn map identifies the building as a restaurant with a club on the second floor. A fire occurred in the late 1990s that damaged the interior of the structure severely. According to city directories, the current owner of the building is Perfection Iron Works.

Jeffrey Allcock Sep 16 2015 I think it’d be a shame if this building was knocked down. It’s a handsome, utilitarian structure that could serve a number of purposes. And there's an unusually good amount of parking too for such a dense urban space. Are there still tax credits in RI for preserving buildings rather than demolishing them?

Meagan Mahoney May 21 2013 While the building is just sitting there all bored up, I would really like to make it into a community chalkboard project. I saw this on TED and loved the idea. A woman printed before i die I want to... and then the rest were lines and she left chalk and ppl walking by could write whatever they wanted. It was simple but beautiful and maybe somehow it would inspire someone to buy the space, fix it up and start a business. I could change the printed message every so often when the space gets filled up. Could be something like "my favorite place in RI is..." or "I am grateful for..." "I smile when I think about..." I dont know who I would have to get in contact with to make it happen though.

Hambone May 23 2010 Last week I was talking with the owner of the car lot next door and he said he used to own a strip club their called Hawks. I think he said there was another strip club there before that.

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