Demolished for a new Home Depot. There were tenants (small businesses, studios, a karate school, a rug store) up until demolition. As far as we remember, this project came along before the Eagle Square fight, which raised a lot of alarms. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t on our radar. In fact, ArtInRuins was just getting started. If anyone has more of the story on the developer and the fight to save the building, or more photos, please contact us.
From the RIHPHC’s report on Industrial Sites, 1981
The Silver Springs Bleaching and Dyeing Co. was formed in 1864 when Henry Lippitt and Charles Merriman bought the buildings, land, and water rights to Frieze and Dow’s beachery on the west side of Charles Street. Frieze and Dow had gained a reputation for the extraordinary whiteness of their goods which was due to the clear water produced by the spring at the West River which ran through the mill site.
Nothing remains today (this was written in 1981) of the original Frieze and Dow mill. In the late 1870’s, the Company began to have problems getting a clean supply of water due to the new mills located up river. A dam and two reservoirs were built in the hopes that the pollutants would settle to the bottom. This did not help, and the company began to get water from driven wells and the city water supply. By 1897 the Company had expanded considerably and employed 575 workers. In 1905 it was bought by a large combine, the US Finishing Company. The Finishing company sold the plant in 1939.
Many of the original 1864 structures remained before demolition, although much had be altered or added to. The mills were 2- and 3-story brick flat-roofed or slightly pitched roofed structures, some with clerestory monitors and corbeled cornices. Behind the boiler house was a tall brick chimney with the names of both Silver Springs Company and US Finishing painted on it.
In June 2004 we added the aerial photo from the HABS/HAER (Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record) database. Notice the Zayre’s behind it. Zayre’s was a department store, similar to the Ames which came later on. The site of this Ames is now the site of a Wal-Mart.
Scott Dec 20 2008 in 1995 I met a real strange guy who sold stuff in Pawtucket at the flea market. He later opened up “chazs discount” next to the Charles street flea market. The street was loded with hookers, nevertheless everyone in the flea market was very nice.
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