Grants Mill, developed by Brady Sullivan Properties.
Update June 2009: This mill is undergoing renovations for residential apartments by the same company that completed removation in Pawtucket at Slater Cotton.
In use, mainly private manufacturing and a few artists. Never been inside and haven’t had much time to really photograph it, but it is a usable mill space in a hot section of town. If anyone goes in to check it out, please let us know or send us photos.
From a 1981 RIHPHC report:
Built around an earlier stone structure, this plain, 4 story brick mill with flat roof and segmented arch windows was one of the two Providence mills owned by B.B. and R. Knight, best known for Fruit of the Loom products. They began the manufacture of cotton cloth in 1852 and in 1856 adopted their “Fruit of the Loom” name. In 1935 the Grant Mill was sold to the Blacher Brothers jewelry company which still occupies the mill (as of 1981).
The four-story, flat-roof, brick building with segmental-arch windows was constructed around an earlier stone mill. The building extends from Carpenter Street to Grant Street to the north with a paved parking lot to the east. The main block of the building along Carpenter Street is embellished with brick corbelling at the cornice line and features a one-story, flat-roof projection which houses an office to the east. The building’s primary entrance is housed on the south elevation of the office block within a recessed, arched entrance. Additional pedestrian entrances are located throughout the complex. Fenestration consists of segmental-arch openings 10/10 sash set below fixed five-light transoms. Two bays on the west elevation of this block have had their windows bricked in, as have the windows on the first story of this block. Two sets of iron fire escapes are located along the Carpenter Street elevation. The northern-most bay of the east elevation of the block contains a hoist and pulley mechanism with paired doors in each bay.
The Grant Street elevation of the building is comprised of two-, three-, and four-story blocks. These blocks also feature corbelled brick cornices and segmental-arch window openings with multi-light sash. Window openings on the first floor of these blocks have been infilled with concrete blocks. A square, tapered brick chimney stack rises from the interior of the complex. Lozenge-shaped tie rods are regularly spaced throughout the buildings’ exterior walls. The building still retains its steam engine and original electric generator. A paved lot is surrounded by chain link fencing.
The building that currently occupies this site was constructed ca. 1910 around an earlier stone mill constructed by Schubael Grant for the manufacture of textiles in what was at that time a remote section of the city. The mill was operated by various individuals throughout the mid-nineteenth century and in 1871, was purchased by the cotton manufacturing firm of B.B. & R. Knight. The Knights fitted the building with 8,000 spindles. The building was one of the two Providence mills owned by the huge cotton combine of B.B. and R. Knight, known for their Fruit of the Loom products. Benjamin and Robert Knight began the manufacture of cloth in 1852 and in 1856 adopted their Fruit of the Loom symbol.
According to a Board of Trade Journal article, the old Grant Mill, known locally as the White Mill, was surrounded by the walls of the new four-story structure to allow for continued operations of the mill while the new building was under construction. Once the new structure was complete, the old walls were removed. Nineteenth-century maps confirm the existence of a different structure on the site.
By the early twentieth century, the B.B. & R. Knight Company owned 22 cotton mills in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Following the death of the Knight Brothers in the early twentieth century, the textile company was run by their sons until a New York corporation purchased the Knight holdings in 1920. Cotton goods were manufactured by this firm under the Fruit of the Loom label until 1926 when the company filed for bankruptcy. In 1935 the Grant Mill was sold to the Blacher Brothers jewelry company, which occupied the mill to at least 1981.
This is the only extant mill in Providence associated with the important Knight family. Additionally, the building is significant as another plant (Providence Steam Cotton Mill) owned by the Knights on Dyer Street, is no longer extant (Woodward 1986; RIHPHC 1981; Kulik 1978).
Peter Lutz Jan 13 2009 This space has currently been sold and is being converted into lofts, I guess this entry should be filed under “Redeveloped”
Patrick 2004 My aunt owns the building and I work on the second floor. A lot of the units have been converted to be used for office space and/or small manufacturing. There are still many places still availible
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