Harris Lumber Co.

also known as William Harris Jr. Lumber Co.

What was left of the former lumber yard along Harris Ave. was replaced with new office space in 2009

About this Property

#Reason for Demolition

From aerial photos we can tell that the bulk of the operations at this location were razed between 1997 and 2003. The remaining structure in these photos was the last remnant of a large corner lot with railroad access.

Part warehouse and part covered loading area, the building was probably a shipping and receiving area from rail to trucks. It was the only structure left of a parcel that once stretched along the railroad tracks to Atwells Avenue (where the 7-11 is now). Aerial photos show the size of the operation from the 50s to the late 90s.

“William Harris Jr. Lumber Co.” had been located in Providence along Harris Avenue for about 100 years. In 1997 the company left its Providence location for North Kingstown and was renamed JT’s Lumber.

#Current Events

This odd-shaped piece of land was difficult to redevelop, and it took about 10 years, but local architect/developer Peter Case of TruthBox designed the first office complex constructed from shipping containers in Rhode Island called the Box Office.

#History

Very little information has been found about Harris Lumber but this description of one of the owner/founders:

From the Tirocchi Database, excerpted and modified

William M. Harris, Jr. — Owned a company that sold lumber and masonry materials with two locations. He was also the treasurer of Terminal Warehouse Co., a storage facility. William Harris III (a son) was manager of William Harris Jr. Lumber Co. There was also a William M Harris Realty Co. at 546 Atwells Ave.