Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Cotuit

IN PROGRESS: The Dynamo House (Heritage Harbor)

Recommended Posts

Heritage Harbor Museum will open despite state and city budget crises

By Dana Goldstein

Despite budget crises in both state and city governments that are limiting public funding of cultural projects in Providence, private and federal funding is helping to develop Heritage Harbor Museum, an ambitious multicultural historical project set to open downtown in December 2005.

Heritage Harbor is billed as "a statewide history museum, bringing to life the hundreds of neighborhoods and villages that make up Rhode Island," according to the Heritage Harbor Web site.

The museum began as a twinkle in the eye of Al Klyberg, former director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, in 1984.

Cathy Blaney, director of marketing and communications at Heritage Harbor, said Klyberg's original concept for the museum developed while he was working with Jewish and black cultural groups to "pool resources to tell a broader story of the history of Rhode Island."

But the historical society pulled out of the project in March 2002 because of concerns with Heritage Harbor's development plan, said Historical Society Executive Director Bernard Fishman.

Fishman declined to elaborate on the Historical Society's decision.

Mark Davis, CEO of Heritage Harbor said, "The Historical Society decided to take a step back. We have the door open to them."

Although the Historical Society is no longer a partner in the Heritage Harbor project, 19 businesses and cultural organizations have joined a coalition of "member" groups in developing the museum.

Although plans for the museum have changed greatly since 1984, multiculturalism continues to be the focus of the museum's philosophy. Heritage Harbor's affiliates include German, Indian, Italian, Irish, Jewish, African American, Portuguese, Muslim and Hispanic cultural organizations.

Each of these member organizations contributed up to $100,000 to the project and agreed to "be involved with fund−raising not only for their own exhibit, but for the consortium in general," Davis said.

The Heritage Harbor Museum will become the physical home of many of these groups, and cornerstone exhibits in the museum have already been planned by certain member organizations.

A life−size replica of a 15th century Portuguese caravel, a ship used for exploration, will be one of the centerpieces of the museum. The grounds of the museum will also be home to the Rhode Island Irish Famine Memorial. One cultural organization, the German American Heritage Harbor Association, grew out of a Heritage Harbor subcommittee examining how German Americans contributed to Rhode Island history.

Davis said balancing the competing priorities of each of the museum's member organizations was a challenge, but one that was consistently overcome. "Heritage Harbor is the first multicultural history museum in the country that is actually governed by the cultures it represents," he said.

This may have been what attracted the Smithsonian Institute to the Heritage Harbor project. Heritage Harbor Museum was one of the first twelve museums in the Smithsonian Affiliates program. As part of this program, the museum will have access to the Smithsonian's 140 million artifacts for temporary exhibitions.

"Heritage Harbor is a unique project," Blaney said. "It can be used as a model in other states and (the Smithsonian) sees the value of that."

Davis said Heritage Harbor employs a full−time staff member to oversee the museum's relationship with the Smithsonian. One 5,000−foot gallery will be devoted to changing artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian. The first exhibit shown in the gallery will focus on themes of transportation and communication, Davis said.

Although Heritage Harbor's relationship with the Smithsonian is central to its identity as a thriving project, the Smithsonian Affiliates program does not provide member institutions with any funding. Heritage Harbor came into its first windfall with a donation from Narragansett Electric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


That's an interesting concept for a museum. Partnering with the Smithsonian gives it instant exhibits, resources and credablity.

I don't like the tone of the article talking about budget cuts as if this museum is some example of frivalous spending or mis-directed priorities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasserman's the same one that designed GTECH right? Seems like they have more interesting properties than Carpionato atleast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating. I hadn't heard of this either. I frankly don't care what else they graft on to that building at this point as long as something happens there. The only ones giving it any attention of late have been the ubiquitous (and still not jailed) graffiti vandals.

- Garris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from CPN Commercial Property News

Streuver Bros. Eccles & Rouse Chosen for Providence, R.I. Redevelopment

June 30, 2005

By Eugene Gilligan, Senior Editor

Streuver Bros. Eccles & Rouse (SBE&R) has been selected to oversee the redevelopment of Heritage Harbor, a former power plant located on the Providence River, in the Jewelry District of Providence, R.I.

The Baltimore, Md.-based commercial, retail, and residential development and construction services firm, will create a mix of office and retail space, as well as condominium units, in conjunction with the Heritage Harbor Museum. The project is estimated to cost about $50 million.

Construction on the project will begin early next year, and will involve the re-development of approximately 200,000 to 250,000 square feet of space, including the creation of 40 condominium units that will range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, with completion targeted for next year. The plant was formerly owned by the Narragansett Electric Company.

Newport Collaborative has been selected as the lead architect for the Heritage Harbor, and Lyme Properties and Brown University are planning to partner on the redevelopment project. The Heritage Harbor Museum will have exhibits focused on the history of Rhode Island.

The site was a gift to the museum (artinruins) from the Narragansett Electric Company, said John Sinnott, senior development director of SBE&R, who heads the company's New England office. "These type of mixed use developments create a vibrant, 18-hour environment in a city, and promote safety," Sinnott said. Brown University is in discussions to locate some biomedical facilities on the site, Sinnott said, as Heritage Harbor is located across the river from the university.

SBE&R has been taking advantage of state and federal tax credits to bring old industrial sites back to life, Sinnott said. In the Providence and Warwick, R.I., areas, the company's Royal Mills project (artinruins) will redevelop former textile mills into a residential rental and condominium development. Their Rising Sun Mills (artinruins) is a $69 million conversion of a 130-year old mill complex into office, apartment, and retail space. The Plant, another redevelopment of industrial space, will feature fifteen artist live-and-work housing units, fourteen rental apartments, and 26,500 square feet of commercial and rental space.

Sinnott said that cities, and its citizens, frequently get attached to old industrial sites. "They become landmarks," he said. Re-development also saves cities the cost of demolishing a structure, Sinnott said.

Heritage Harbor is part of "Providence 2020," an urban plan for the city. In 2004, Mayor David Cicilline commissioned a study of the city's downtown, to create a vision for Providence in 2020, to provide a framework for public and private investment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. THAT is some pretty big news.

Streuver Bros. likes to take on the tough projects, and this sounds like a good one.

Should be a really impressive project. (more so if 8-10 of the residential units are "affordable.")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we thus assume that the Heritage project will be considerably scaled back? Then why bother? How many people can say that they live in a museum. :whistling:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we thus assume that the Heritage project will be considerable scaled back? Then why bother? How many people can say that they live in a museum.  :whistling:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Maybe they can sell units in that life size replica of a triple decker that they kept talkin about way back when.

"This was considered traditional working class housing at the turn of the century. If you look closely you can even see the yuppies that now inhabit the building since it went condo..."

Liam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe they can sell units in that life size replica of a triple decker that they kept talkin about way back when.

"This was considered traditional working class housing at the turn of the century. If you look closely you can even see the yuppies that now inhabit the building since it went condo..."

Liam

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The house will probably be the first exhibit to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems a little weird to me. I need more info/time to digust this.

http://www.commercialpropertynews.com/cpn/...t_id=1000972687

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm a bit confused. I thought the Crompton Mill burned down entirely.

http://www.ri.net/schools/West_Warwick/Pag...pton.fire1.html

Anyone who knows West Warwick or SBER got any more info?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, on the surface of things, it sounds great. It's a great location, it's a great building... But I want to see some more details. This is going to be a public/private/Brown invested, mixed use residential, retail, museum, and biomedical laboratory? Huh... Pretty ambitious. How is all of this going to be integrated? I presume much more new building will be going on...

- Garris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit confused. I thought the Crompton Mill burned down entirely.

http://www.ri.net/schools/West_Warwick/Pag...pton.fire1.html

Anyone who knows West Warwick or SBER got any more info?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This explains the Crompton issue that confused me.

http://www.projo.com/westbay/content/projo...ro.242d556.html

As for Heritage Harbor, WOW! I'm sure that SBER willl not only get it done, but they'll do a beautiful job.

I would like to see the Jewelry District consist not only of renovated industrial buildings but some new contruction that will fill in some of those parking lots.

Architecturally, I would love to see something like Cambridge's Kendall Sq near MIT. That is, ultra modern structures with clean lines and high tech materials coexisting with historic brick and reinforced concrete factories. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, on the surface of things, it sounds great.  It's a great location, it's a great building...  But I want to see some more details.  This is going to be a public/private/Brown invested, mixed use residential, retail, museum, and biomedical laboratory?  Huh...  Pretty ambitious.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, very ambitious.

I've also heard some not so good things about Streuver Bros. Eccles & Rouse in the past. But they seem to have pulled off Rising Sun well, so I'm inclined to think that may have been some sour grapes.

Architecturally, I would love to see something like Cambridge's Kendall Sq near MIT. That is, ultra modern structures with clean lines and high tech materials coexisting with historic brick and reinforced concrete factories.  :rolleyes:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Your rolleyes emoticon makes me think you aren't serious. Although Kendall Square is rather universally panned by urbanists as a bland area and a suburbanized sort of office park in the city area, I kind of like it's mix of old and modern and totally see that as a model for the JD. The JD just needs to pull it off better than it was pulled off in Kendall Square.

Kind of a crappy area to live in though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The JDs a crappy area or Kendall Square? I'd love to live in the JD, if I could afford a piece of property there, I'd buy in a second. I'd love to build something there. It's an overlooked urban frontier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your rolleyes emoticon makes me think you aren't serious. Although Kendall Square is rather universally panned by urbanists as a bland area and a suburbanized sort of office park in the city area, I kind of like it's mix of old and modern and totally see that as a model for the JD. The JD just needs to pull it off better than it was pulled off in Kendall Square.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was being serious. Wrong emoticon on my part then.

Drove by the Heritage Harbor bldg last night. It's going to be spectacular at night when those giant windows are all lit up as they are at the other power station.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The JDs a crappy area or Kendall Square? I'd love to live in the JD, if I could afford a piece of property there, I'd buy in a second. I'd love to build something there. It's an overlooked urban frontier.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can't see either one as crappy. I guess that's a subjective thing. All I know is that plenty of people must agree with Cotuit about the Jewelry District. The condos there are way expensive.

I think the JD is now with SBER's plans for the HH bldg pretty much fully redeveloped. No large scale vacant or rundown properties that I can think of and what a mix of uses!

The next big thing will be to build on the surface parking lots and to expand north to connect to Downcity when the old 195 comes down.

Interestingly, you can see that 195 as a demarcation between Downcity and the JD does not match the historic boundary between these two areas. The JD originally extended northward right up to Pine St. (The Jesse Metcalf/DCYF as well as the Johnson & Wales Waite Thresher bldg are north of the Interstate but are clearly Jewelry District type buildings.)

The reveloped 195 land shoud look something like Kendall Sq or the area around Vassar St. in Cambridge. The gutsy modernist structures built there by MIT and various biotech companies blend so well with the preexisting industrial buildings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be interesting to see the jump in interest in those parking lots in the JD after 195 comes down and some new structures start going up... you thought the JD was expensive now!

I have faith in SBER (so far). They have many interesting projects on their website done down in Baltimore that are mixed use residential/commercial right on the waterfront. This fits in nicely with what they do well. I just knew they were going to do more in this city when I heard they opened a branch office in the Rising Sun complex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.