Explore North Burial Ground Tuesday, July 28

Enjoy an evening exploration of the historic and environmentally sensitive North Burial Ground with historian Robert O. Jones and ghost stories from writer, raconteur and neighbor Mark Binder at a FREE public event hosted by the North Main Street Committee and the Summit Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, July 28 at 7 PM.

See you here: Tuesday, July 28 at 7 PM.

See you here: Tuesday, July 28 at 7 PM.

This event will be enjoyed by families, neighbors and anyone with an interest in Providence history. The tour will meet on North Main Street at the cemetery entrance gate opposite the Providence Armory at 7 p.m. (This gate opens to marble steps into the cemetary. It  is on the southbound side of North Main Street, just after the last office buildings, one long block after Walgreens as you head toward downtown.)

Robert O. Jones will lead a short walking tour from the gate. A local naturalist will provide an ecological context. At 8PM, we will return to the steps for snacks and ghost stories from Mark Binder.

Pre-registration is requested but not required. To register or to get more information, contact Greg Gerritt at 331-0529 or by email at gerrit@mindspring.com.


North Main’s new LEED-certified building

IMG_0832Neighbors got an in-depth look at the process and beautiful results of new “green building” techniques used to rehabilitate the new Home and Hospice Care of RI facility at 1085 North Main Street at our Tuesday evening  (May 26) preview tour. If you missed it, you may want to attend Home & Hospice Care’s public Grand Opening on Sunday, May 31 at 2PM.

Keith Davignon and Jamie Hughes of Vision 3 Architects and Greg Post and Greg Pezza of New England Construction showed how a careful use of recycled and low-impact materials, energy-efficient design and innovative technologies helped ensure that this building will be Rhode Island’s first LEED-certified medical facility when it opens for staff and patients in June.

Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island provides end-of-life and bereavement care for terminally ill people and their families. The new building will provide private rooms for 24 patients and flexible space for  administrators and caregivers. H&HCRI staff also travel to homes, hospitals and nursing homes to care for about 400 patients in total at any time. Continue reading

See North Main’s new LEED-certified building May 26

img_0833_3Please join the North Main Street Project  for an advance tour of the newly renovated Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island facility at 1085 North Main Street on Tuesday, May 26 at 7:00 pm. Our preview will provide an inside look at one of Rhode Island’s few and perhaps only LEED-certified building rehabs, with the architect, builder and client all on hand to share their experiences. Our thanks to Executive Director Diana Franchitto for this great opportunity.

Home & Hospice Care provides compasionate end-of-life care for more than 400 terminally ill people and their families at any one time. HHCRI nurses visit more than 200 of these families at their homes and a slightly smaller number at nursing homes around our state. They currently can care for up to 10 patients at their current home on George Street in Pawtucket.

The new center will provide peaceful private rooms for 24 patients as well as showers, dining areas, quiet spaces and rest areas, so that families will be comfortable spending extended time at the facility. About half of the building space will used as administrative offices and as work and meeting space for their clinical care nurses, who spend most of their days on the road.

This project fulfills three key goals of the North Main Street Project. First, it adds an important new service to our area and strengthen’s the Summit nieghborhood’s claim to be a neighborhood for every stage of life. It restores and re-activates what has been dead space for many years. And, by recycling an old building into a LEED-certified facility, it models the neighborhood’s environmentally progressive vision for North Main.

Housing Workshop Tuesday, November 11

You can’t build a neighborhood without neighbors. Could new market-based and workforce-affordable housing be the key to re-creating a lively retail and entertainment district along North Main Street?

Join us at the offices of the Providence Center, 528 North Main Street, opposite Whole Foods and University Heights for a workshop on the potential for new residential development on North Main Street. Amy Rainone of Rhode Island Housing will be an expert guest. We’ll also be joined by housing developers from Providence community development organizations which have had success with mixed residential-commercial projects.

Early replies favor intersection change

As of Sunday, we have had 26 folks weigh in on the idea of making the Smithfield Ave. intersection with North Main Street two-way. While not conclusive, only a small number object and those on the basis of specific concerns that would have to be addressed by engineering studies before the project could go ahead. We’ll continue to ask for responses and in particular ask for North Main business people to participate.

Our survey question:

1. Assuming traffic safety standards are met, would you support changing this one-way intersection at North Main and Smithfield Avenue to two-way? 

YES – 19
NO – 4

Comments suggest issues that any engineering study would need to evaluate, including making it safer for pedestrians on North Main to cross Smithfield Ave, providing continued access to the Peter Pan Bus station and preventing new traffic bottlenecks and long wait times. An interesting question is whether Frost Street, which is also one-way for one block as it enters North Main, should also be made two-way if we change Smithfield. Read complete comments: Continue reading

Stakeholders open to master plan for Sear and Shaws site

The three largest landholders in the largely underused areas north of Smithfield Avenue and west of North Main Street have agreed in principle to participate in a joint master planning process should one be developed. So have the city planning departments of both Providence and Pawtucket. After hearing about these conversations from North Main Street Project consultant Jonathan Harris at our October 7 meeting, City Councilman Kevin Jackson and State Representative Gordon Fox agreed to support SNA should it decide to undertake a planning project. The issue will be taken up on Oct 27 at the next SNA Board meeting and revisited at the next North Main Street workshop on Nov. 11. Continue reading

Oct. 7: Problems and potential at Sears


For decades now, the empty Sears has symbolized neglect of North Main Street.

In the minds of many neighbors one empty building, the abandoned former Sears department store, is both the leading cause and major consequence of North Main’s problems. Yet, big as it is, this property is just one corner of a vast swath of unused and under-used land and buildings that includes the former Shaws Plaza and abandoned buildings all the way to and across the Pawtucket City Line.

Please join us on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. at the offices of Jewish Family Services, 959 North Main Street, for a presentation and discussion on the problems holding this area back and the potential for breaking the development deadlock. Continue reading