Neighborhood News

September 2023


Baseball win for Washington Park youth athletes

In a triumphant victory, the Washington Park South Providence Sports’ (WPSPS) youth baseball 10U All Star Team clinched the New England Divisional Title, securing their place in the highly anticipated 2023 Cal Ripken World Series. The achievement marks a historic milestone as the Providence team’s first time making it to the series. All summer, the WPSPS team, comprising 13 10-year-old athletes led by four coaches, competed against formidable teams from Cranston, Warwick, and Tiverton, advancing into the New England Championship, where they continued to collect wins against states across the region. The WPSPS team practices at the Tim O’Neil Field in Roger Williams Park, cheered on by a community of passionate baseball lovers and proud families, who helped make the young players’ dreams come true. At time of press, they plan to travel to Crown Point, Indiana in August for the Cal Ripken World Series game. To learn more, follow Washington Park South Providence Sports on Facebook.


The Jewelry District’s ongoing riverwalk project officially open

Following a formal ribbon cutting held August 17, the mile-and-a-quarter riverwalk from Waterplace Basin to Point Street is now fully open to the public. Completion of the walkway was made possible by bridging the Ship Street Canal and rebuilding the river bulkhead to carry the pathway through to Point Street. From the 195 District Park at the west end of the Van Leesten Pedestrian Bridge, the path runs along the river over the Ship Street Canal and past South Street Landing and River House. Wexford Science & Technology, the developers of South Street Landing and 225 Dyer Street, built the bridge and walkway.

The walkway provides a variety of new recreational possibilities, including an improved boat landing and an access area for public fishing. In keeping with environmental concerns, the walkway’s permeable surface limits runoff into the river, and native plantings have been introduced along the river’s edge. Benches offer pleasant stopping points along the way. The new walkway is open from one hour before dawn to one hour after dusk, and lighting is being installed.


Old State House awarded federal grant

Built in 1760-62 when the state was still a colony, the Old State House and Parade at 150 Benefit Street in Providence still stands today, and a recently awarded $750,000 federal grant ensures its continued preservation. Commemorating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, the Semiquincentennial Grant was awarded by the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

The brick-and-brownstone Old State House was once at the center of political life in Rhode Island and an important gathering place. Two months before the Declaration of Independence was signed, it was the site of Rhode Island’s General Assembly renouncing its allegiance to King George III, and it once hosted a visit from George Washington. Today it is headquarters of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, the state agency for historical preservation and heritage programs. The federal funding will support both in-depth research of the building’s construction and restoration projects including plaster repair, painting, and flooring, as well as landscape features returned to their former glory.


Fox Point neighbors concerned about influx of cars

The 195 Commission met in mid-July to hear neighborhood feedback and vote on “conceptual approval” of a two-building development project designed by the Urbanica firm and slated for South Main and South Water streets, adjacent to the Van Leesten Pedestrian Bridge. The Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA), which has been involved in the commission’s months-long vetting process since its start, gave strong warnings about the proposal, raising concerns about massing and parking.

The proposal, which includes two buildings that range in size from three to six stories, struck Fox Point neighbors and the FPNA Board of Directors as too high and bulky, even in modified form. “The massing and height are out of context with the neighborhood,” says FPNA interim president Lily Bogosian. The proposal also compounds an already troublesome situation with lack of parking in the area. “This project lacks adequate residential parking and service vehicle accommodations,” Bogosian continues. “We are not able to manage the influx of vehicles at this very moment as a result of current development. We are seeing road rage, noise, parking issues, cars in driveways, and more.” The Urbanica project, she continued, combined with the city and state’s more than 1,500 proposed units, would only cause these problems to worsen.

The 195 Commission ultimately voted to approve the design, which includes residential units, first-level commercial space, a public plaza, and live-work lofts. In the coming months, the commission and the public will have the opportunity to review and provide comment on the final design.




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