By Karen Davis
Providence Journal | December 3, 2004 (abridged)
City officials have approved a proposal to demolish a historic building that was damaged by contractors working on the Narragansett Bay Commission’s combined sewage overflow tunnel last year. The building, which formerly housed J.G. Goff’s Pub, at 7 Point St., was closed last December after work on the multimillion dollar sewer project damaged the brick tavern’s foundation and walls.
The building is owned by Davol Square Jewelrymart, LLC. Richard Jaffe, of Davol Square, said his company has made several appeals to the Bay Commission to try to get the building repaired. A support system that holds up the building extends over the sidewalk and into one lane of traffic on Point Street, and it has been in place for the last year.
After receiving no response from the Bay Commission, the company went to the Historic District Commission to ask for a demolition permit that they are prepared to use if they are unable to get the Bay Commission to make repairs. The company plans to approach the commission one more time in an effort to get the building repaired.
Rent on the building has not been paid since last December.
On Nov. 22, the seven-member Historic District Commission approved a recommendation that the building be demolished, according to officials in the city Department of Planning & Development. The decision was based on an assessment that the building’s foundation was heavily damaged and three of the four sides of the small tavern were unstable and needed artificial supports.
Vibrations were what damaged the building. Contractors had been working in the area since March 2003 to lay the foundation for a three-mile tunnel that will ultimately contain storm water and untreated sewage to keep it from draining into Narragansett Bay. Last fall, workers drove piles into the ground about 10 to 15 feet away from the tavern as a stabilization measure. Bay Commission officials said they believe that driving the piles into the silty soil beneath the riverside tavern caused vibrations that led to cracks in the building. Contractors noticed cracks in the south side of the tavern’s brick wall and alerted authorities, who had the building inspected. A private inspector and city building inspector discovered additional cracks in the foundation, authorities have said. The Bay Commission immediately had contractors install wood and steel supports to help shore up the building.
The building is considered historic because of its location – on the edge of the city’s Jewelry District.
Ross Jun 30 2009 RIP....best bar ever
Richard Ruff Mar 26, 2008 I was the first bartender at Geoff’s and agree that it was truly a wonderful haunt for all those involved for the first couple of years. Over time, as the bar changed hands and it’s ever growing customer base competed for space inside it’s small barroom, it became a little less desirable and lost many of the first generation of customers. When the bar opened many people said that it would fail because it was located on the “wrong” side of the Point Street Bridge. They were wrong!
Ella Used to work in Goffs, shocked to see it’s gone, just planning a visit back.
Michael Abate This was the best Bar in Providence back in the day, 1994-95-96-97. It was not your typical meat head, meat market pickup joint, yet a semi sophisticated hang where you could go to relax, drink, always see somebody you knew, and always worry free. The location was great, and I would compare it to the closest thing Providence had to “Cheers”. I miss it and it is a shame it will no longer be part of the Providence nightlife for those who just wanted to have a good time.
Mathew Michael Hodges I tended bar at J.G. Goff’s back in 2002 and I’m pretty sure the building was one of the original, if not the original, Providence Harbor Master’s Building. Quite a shame it’s gone either way.
Charles Meunier, Jr. The historic property at 7 Point Street – formerly JG Goff’s – has been razed. The entire Davol Square area has lost a great deal of its character as a result of this. I shall miss the structure.
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