Workers streaming out of the building at noon, 1903
A 5.7 MB quicktime movie found on the Library of Congress’s American Memory website. In our photo #6 you can see the area that is shown in this movie.
Also, a link to a LIFE photograph archived in Google images of female workers during World War I.
A Los Angeles-based Urban Smart Growth purchased the six-building, 600,000 square-foot former Hope Webbing mill complex for $2.5 million in March 2005. Four years and $20 million dollars later, the project is still in Phase 2, but it has already added almost 300,000 sf of leasable retail, restaurant and live/work space. Anchor tenants like the Seven Stars Baking facility, New Harvest Coffee Roasters, the Blackstone Bar and Rosinha’s Restaurant have helped put the complex on the map as a destination.
The yearly event that really packs the halls, though, has to be the Indoor Winter Farmer’s Market. A stroke of genius, the Farmer’s Market had its first year in 2008. Already, in 2009, the anticipation of the new season has created a buzz among the vendors and shoppers, so the organizers have added more attractions in some of the un-rented units. This year, a weekend craft bazaar will fill some spaces during the pre- and post-Holiday season.
In 2006, the planned square foot breakdown was roughly 25-30 percent living space, 40 percent retail, 15 percent office space, 10 percent restaurants and cafes, and 10-15 percent light manufacturing. Manufacturing units were to range from 1,600 to 10,000 square feet, starting at $5 per square foot; live/work units will be around 2,000 square-feet, starting at $5 per square foot; and apartments will range from 700 to 1,400 square-feet, starting at $2 per square foot. We are unsure where those numbers lie, up or down, three years later.
The now-defunct state historical tax credits were the number one reason this West Coast developer chose to base its East Coast bureau in Pawtucket. Other projects that Urban Smart Growth is involved in in RI are the Greystone complex in North Providence (136 condo units), Eastern Butcher Block on Valley Street (Eagle Square), and Paramount Cards in Pawtucket.
A large complex occupying a double city block and built to the edge of the site on all sides. Typical brick mill construction consisting of a long 2- and 3- story symmetrical facade, with two 4- story towers. In back of the main street building are four one story brick factory sheds with raised clerstory roofs. The west end of the site is spanned by a long 6-story brick mill block. Most of the structures were built between 1889 and 1913, and by 1930, Hope Webbing claimed to be the largest mill of its type in the world.
One of the most recent tenants in the rear block (Esten Street) was the Schoolhouse Candy company. In June 2004, the boiler works building located in the rear of the complex, across the street, and bearing the famously iconic “Hope” sign, burned down.
bettylou Aug 1 2014 I lived on Warren Ave. when I was about ten. We were right across the street, I remember there was a big hill in our yard. One year my dad made a snow path for us to slide down and it stopped just before the sidewalk. A tractor trailer was coming down the street and we scared the poor driver. I also know Helen Triantopolous and have fond memories of she and her family. My mom worked at school house candy for a little bit. I’m so glad that the building is still used to this day… Hi Helen, I also remember the hustle and bustle of the machinery. Everyone had a job!!
Gail Ahlers Aug 6 2010 My company is Ahlers Designs and I am an American manufacturer. Currently my design studio in the Hope Artiste Village. It has been very heartwarming to meet people that have a history with the building when they stop by. I have heard stories like, “I used to make Easter baskets right here.” (Besides the Hope Webbing Co. this building also housed School House Candy at one time.) As a designer I am always looking to use sustainable, reclaimed or recycled materials. I have made custom awards using reclaimed lumber from the Hope Webbing building. You can view them on my blog http://www.gailahlers.com/in-the-news/awards-in-bloom. I used Coke Cola cans to make the flowers. Carrying on the manufacturing tradition is not such a traditional way.
Helen Triantopoulos Card I worked at Hope Webbing from 1968-1970. I worked part time after school from 3-7 for 2 years, and worked full time during summer. I made $1.60 an hour; even though it was so loud. You had to punch in and punch out for 30 minute lunch/dinner breaks. I had a great time. When I visit my mom in pawtucket, i drive way and stop outside and if i close my eyes I can hear the spoolers on the lower level and the machine on the 2nd floor.
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