John H. Crawford House
(15 Park Street)
The R&G Cushman Company was established in 1848 to manufacture spools for winding cotton and silk thread. Ten years later, the company moved to its second and permanent location at 5 Central Avenue in the Pleasant View neighborhood of Pawtucket. In 1874, the company became known as the Atwood-Crawford Company, since it was at that time owned by Abner Atwood and John H. Crawford. The factory for many years was known as the oldest and largest spool manufacturer in the country. The building is still on Central Avenue. John Crawford built his home in 1869 at the corner of Park and Laurel Streets, where it still stands today. It is one of the oldest and most historically significant houses in Pleasant View. The current owners care a great deal for it and are working to restore it. The unfortunate circumstance for this house is that the lot in front of the house, once Crawford’s front lawn from which he could view his factory, has been separated from the house and has different owners. A permit has been granted to build an apartment building on the empty lot. This means that the distinctive front façade of the Crawford House will be forever hidden from view. The house owners have been diligent in trying to work with the lot owners, the developers, and city officials, to talk about an alternative plan. The Preservation Society’s position is that the lot should be left empty, for the sake of the house, and the neighborhood.
Hose Company Number 6
(636 Central Avenue)
The Hose Company Number 6 was a fire station built in 1895 to serve the rapidly growing Darlington neighborhood. The station was built by Charles E. Kirk, a Pawtucket resident and building contractor, who was about 26 in 1895. Kirk later was appointed (in 1897) as a superintendent in the city's public works department. The building is in the Queen Anne style, which was prevalent in America between 1880 and 1910. Along with the old fire station No. 4 at 474 Broadway (an 1890 Queen Anne building), the Hose Company No. 6 was closed in 1974 when the new Cottage Street station (now station #4) was built. In the late 1970s the Community Development Block Grant program assisted in the adaptation of several historic buildings for new uses. The Hose Co. No. 6 was converted to a restaurant in 1977. The building was awarded the Preservation Society’s very first historic marker plaque. The owner at the time funded the start of the historic marker program, signifying his commitment to recognizing historic resources in Pawtucket.
(41 Waldo Street)
The Mitchell-Arnold House at 41 Waldo St. in Pawtucket is architecturally significant as an exceptionally picturesque Late Victorian suburban cottage. It is an example of a type of remodeling widely practiced in late nineteenth century Pawtucket – the transformation of an unpretentious flank-gable cottage into an elaborate dwelling suitable for a suburban family of means and taste. The original portion was erected in 1871 for James W. Mitchell, a clerk employed by the Pawtucket coal and lumber dealers, Smith, Grant & Company. In 1886, Mitchell sold the property to John H. Arnold, a Pawtucket real estate and insurance man. Indications are that it was John H. Arnold who commissioned the major additions. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. It is currently owned by a bank in Iowa and is obviously not being cared for or protected. It has been robbed and vandalized on several occasions and the neighbors are not only concerned about safety, but about the loss of one of Pawtucket’s important historical houses.
George Fowler House
(72 Mineral Spring Avenue)
This house has been empty and neglected for more than ten years. It was set on fire during the night of Thursday, June 19, 2014 and continues to be an eyesore and a danger to the neighborhood. Until very recently, trash was regularly dumped in the yard and driveway; there is now a chain across the driveway opening and the trash was cleaned up. The house was built in 1915 by George Herbert Fowler, who was a draughtsman for the Providence Tool Company and was treasurer of the Pawtucket Manufacturing Company until his death on January 4, 1895. His wife Lula (Johnson) Fowler, who continued to live in the house long after George’s death, worked as a public school teacher and was an active member of many civic groups, which included the Associated Charities of Pawtucket, the Rhode Island Women's Club, the Pawtucket Woman's Club, and the State Education Committee. We would like to see the house maintained and cared for by owners who are invested in the neighborhood, and who understand the dangers of leaving this property unattended and neglected. We want to see the property kept clean and protected from vandalism. Please help us keep an eye on this house and property and report any vandalism to the police, to city officials, and to us! Also spread the word about this historic resource in our city.
Oak Grove Cemetery Lodge
The Oak Grove Cemetery is one of two city-owned historic cemeteries in Pawtucket. In 1832, when this cemetery was established, it was in Pawtucket, Massachusetts. The existing lodge building near the entrance gate was built in 1896, with approval from the city council, ten years after Pawtucket was incorporated as a city. It was recently discovered that the building’s original bronze bell is still hanging in the belfry tower, having been hidden from public view for many years. The bell was made by the Blake Bell Company of Boston. The company’s owner was William Blake. After apprenticing with Paul Revere, Blake established his own company, called William Blake & Co. until about 1890, and later called the Blake Bell Company. The lodge itself housed offices and a waiting room for those meeting with the cemetery superintendent. This building has long been neglected and is regularly vandalized. We are hoping to convince city officials that both the bell is a remarkable treasure and that it should be preserved in its original location.
Friendship Garden, Slater Park
The pond here was created in 1913, but the surrounding garden was not designed until 1935. The project was directed by park superintendent Lawrence Corrente and sponsored by the Pawtucket Rotarians as part of their International Friendship Program. The Pawtucket Rotary Club planted this garden with 67 trees to represent the countries in which rotary clubs had been established. The flowers and plants represent those mentioned by Shakespeare in his works. By 1975 the garden, which had become severely neglected, was restored. The work was again supervised by Lawrence Corrente, who had retired, but agreed to be re-employed for the project. The garden is now severely overgrown after having been neglected for many years. Though we understand if it can’t be restored to its original plan, we would like to see this garden kept clean and inviting for visitors to the park.