– excerpted from the ProJo, Cathleen Crowley
Joseph Piscopio, owner of the Jefferson Grille, is developing the 4.3 acre site and demolishing most of the buildings there. There will be a hotel and an apartment building, the first development in the so-called Warwick Station District, named for the Amtrack station that has yet to materialize.
The complex, called Metro Center Plaza, is slated to include a 170-room hotel and 110-unit apartment building. There also might be plans for 60,000 square feet of office space. A second hotel is planned for across the street.
The demolition crew tried to save the shell, but the mortar could not hold the 25 foot walls. Piscopio plans to incorporate the remaining wall and the main office (saved from demolition) into the hotel design.
The former RI Malleable Iron Works largely date from 1918, when the original complex was rebuilt after a fire. Thomas Jefferson Hill built it in 1867 for the production of malleable iron castings, a key element in his development of this section of Warwick. This mill, the adjoing mill housing in the neighboring blocks and the Elizabeth Mill (now Leviton) were built by Hill, who gave his name to the village, Hillsgrove. Hill was also the manufacturer who built the Providence Machine Company – the great mill on Allens Avenue that was torn down for the relocation of Rt. 195. The central building block was designed by Jackson, Robertson, and Adams of Providence, with quoins, window lintels, and an ornamental door frame patterned after those on Colonial and Federal period buildings.
Malleable Iron is defined as a high-tensile strength white cast iron produced by a long heat-treatment of white chilled castings. Because of the process of higher casting temperature and longer and hotter annealing, malleable iron has greater strength and ductility than normal cast iron. The carbon is reduced to tiny particles instead of flakes as in gray cast iron. Malleable Iron is used for castings, implements, pipe fittings, building hardware, and small machine parts requiring high tensile strength.
Vicki B Apr 1 2014 My grandfather Everett Compston has a tool box with a lot of strange looking tools. Some perhaps resemble a Compass, some look like pic's that a dentist would use. They are placed in a small cabinet with many shallow drawers with felt bottoms. Well what brought me here was I found an old newspaper clipping titled "PERSONNEL REVISED BY R.I. IRON WORKS" It tells about the Hillsgrove people, Rhode Island Fittings when Charles H Brown was President of both. Harry L Steeves retired as Treasurer.Howard Northup became the new treasurer. Cyrus P Clough was Vice Pres. Claude Eaton holds his post as sales manager and William Shogrun was assigned as shop superintendent. Is this significant to anyone? I don’t know if my grandfather worked there or not do you?
Ian Cooke Jan 7 2014 My grandfather somehow acquired a steel perpetual flip desk calendar which has "Rhode Island Malleable Iron Works" on an emblem bearing that sanskrit character that will never be the same after WWII. No idea where he got it, but it will flip on though the building is gone. It would be interesting to find out when the RIMIW chose that character to be on a logo/emblem.
David Congdon MY GRANDFATHER ALBERT W CONGDON WAS A FORMAN IN THE FOUNDRY OF THE IRON WORKS. HE LIVED A FEW HOUSES DOWN FROM THE FOUNDRY. HE WAS ALSO THE PRESIDENT OF THE WORKINGMEN*S MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETY OF THE R.I.M.I.W. ORGANIZED JANUARY 23,1906.
bob d. I work right down the street from this site and walked by it every day on my lunch break during demolition. On the corner of Jefferson & Thurber St. the contractors left and restored an old pump (water, I assume) that was originally inside the building. The pump remains in the exact same location as during the demolition, It is now on the sidewalk, just outside of the hotel, and is the only other “structure” left from the old iron works factory besides the office building which is adjacent to the hotel. Also, I believe they used the original bricks from the factory to facade the hotel. Several pallets of bricks were collected, sorted and stacked during and after the demolition.
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