The current buildings at 383 West Fountain Street were supposed be torn down to make way for an Armory Revival Project named 383 West Fountain. Due to economic pressures, the project is on permanent hold, and hopefully will simply become rentable commercial space.
From the ProvPlan/PPS survey 2001:
Combination Ladder is comprised of several one- and two-story, brick structures. A large, one- to two-story, flat-roof block stands at the corner of West Fountain Street and Cargill Street. Due to the topographical changes, the building stands one-story in height at the rear and two-stories in height at the West Fountain street end. This block features an altered, centrally-located, vehicular entrance that has been bricked in and has an offset pedestrian entrance comprised of a metal-and-glass door.
Fenestration is comprised of rectangular window openings with modern 1/1 sash on the façade with stone lintels and sills. Segmental-arch window openings with modern 1/1 sash and small, rectangular multi-light sash are located on the Cargill Street elevation. The rear elevation of this block features bricked in window openings.
Attached to the west elevation of this block is a one-story, flat-roof, brick structure with a band of small, multi-light sash. Further west stands a two-story, brick, flat-roof structure with an oversized bricked-in vehicular entrance offset on the façade (south elevation). This block features replacement windows that are visibly smaller than the original fenestration. The structure is embellished with bands of brick corbelling at the cornice line and splayed brick lintels and the date “1905.” A one-story, rear ell projects from the north elevation of this block. A one-story, hip-roof, asphalt-sided shed/garage stands on the property.
The first mention of the Combination Ladder Company was in a Providence business directory dating back to 1884 when the firm was listed at 300 Fountain Street. The firm is later listed at 366 and 399 West Fountain Street. The 1908 map identifies the occupants of this property as the Fountain Society, referring to the Rawson Fountain Society, which owned the property since 1887. Combination Ladder Co., Inc. purchased the property in 1923 and remained here through to 1954. The company manufactured wood and iron fire escape ladders, basket seat chairs, rocking horses, lawn settlers, Boys clipper sleds, snow shovels, steps, Whitener’s horses, clothes horses, revolving clothes dryers, wash benches, hitching and clothing posts, painters’ roof boards, ladder hook and etc. The firm continued to manufacture fire department apparatus and supplies at this site until 1954.
Lonnie Clark Dec 26 2014 I own one of the few existing Fire Hose wagons made or brokered by them
Eleanor Emby I was looking up info on the Combination Ladder Company in Providence when I came across your website. My maternal grandfather, Americo Fazzi and his brother Vincent Fazzi, both worked for Combination Ladder in the 1920s before forming the A&V Tire Company on Broadway. Apparently, at the time, Combination Ladder owned the distribution rights for Diamond Tires (which were manufactured by BF Goodrich), and they decided to give up the distributorship. My grandfather and his brother bought the rights and opened their own business, which lasted 50 years. (I think that’s the correct version). I showed your info to my parents, they loved it.
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