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J. Goff's may be demolished

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Damaged building could be demolished

J. Goff's Pub on Point Street was condemned and is considered to be a safety hazard.

BY KAREN A. DAVIS

Journal Staff Writer | December 3, 2004

PROVIDENCE -- City officials have approved a proposal to demolish a historic building that was damaged by contractors working on the Narragansett Bay Commission's combined sewage overflow tunnel last year.

The building, which formerly housed J.G. Goff's Pub, at 7 Point St., was closed last December after work on the multimillion dollar sewer project damaged the brick tavern's foundation and walls.

The building -- which is owned by Davol Square Jewelrymart, LLC -- has been closed ever since, according Jamie Samons, a spokeswoman for the Bay Commission.

The Bay Commission has hired structural engineers to assess the damage and determine the "best course of action," Samons said.

Richard Jaffe, of Davol Square, said his company has made several appeals to the Bay Commission to try to get the building repaired.

A support system that holds up the building extends over the sidewalk and into one lane of traffic on Point Street, and it has been in place for the last year, Jaffe said. The street is reduced to one lane for a short distance.

"We'd like to move off dead center" of the street, Jaffe said. "And it's going to move, one way or another."

After receiving no response from the Bay Commission, Jaffe said his company went to the Historic District Commission to ask for a demolition permit that they are prepared to use if they are unable to get the Bay Commission to make repairs. Jaffe said his company plans to approach the commission one more time in an effort to get the building repaired.

Jaffe said his company has not been paid rent on the building since last December.

On Nov. 22, the seven-member Historic District Commission approved a recommendation that the building be demolished, according to officials in the city Department of Planning & Development.

The decision was based on an assessment that the building's foundation was heavily damaged and three of the four sides of the small tavern were unstable and needed artificial supports.

According to planning department reports, the building has been condemned since last December and city officials consider it a safety hazard.

"Vibrations were what damaged the building," Samons said.

Contractors had been working in the area since March 2003 to lay the foundation for a three-mile tunnel that will ultimately contain storm water and untreated sewage to keep it from draining into Narragansett Bay.

Last fall, workers drove piles into the ground about 10 to 15 feet away from the tavern as a stabilization measure. That created a noticable amount of vibration to the entire area, Samons said.

Bay Commission officials said they believe that driving the piles into the silty soil beneath the riverside tavern caused vibrations and led to cracks in the building.

Contractors noticed cracks in the south side of the tavern's brick wall and alerted authorities, who had the building inspected. A private inspector and city building inspector discovered additional cracks in the foundation, authorities have said.

The building was closed a short time later, Samons said.

The Bay Commission immediately had contractors install wood and steel supports to help shore up the building.

The building is considered historic because of its location -- in the city's Jewelry Distrcit.

From The Providence Journal

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It's a shame but I don't think that there is going to be any saving that building. I'm pretty much just hoping that something decent goes in it's place. This could be looked at as an opportunity to really pump some new life in that spot. It's also a shame that Allens ave. is never going to stop being a giant eyesore. Don't get me wrong, there's a certain excitement that comes with having New England's "red light district" in town but it would do so much for that whole southern end of the city if we at least re-developed the waterfront. I know that the HUGE gas tanks are needed and all but with all this talk about LNG shipments coming in on ship from now on and with all the safety concerns involved (even though nobody would ever foot this bill), I don't think it would be a bad idea to just move the whole operation south a few miles. I realize it would be expensive not only to move the facility but also if they decide to do major pipeline work then that'll just be more pipe but isn't it worth it? Hell, the powerlines are finally getting buried even though we had to be given an excuse to even consider it but doesn't the......Wow, that's an entirely different topic. To get back to the point, I know they'll tear this building down and I just hope that we get something really nice out of it. It would be a great opportunity for some high density housing. It would extend the downcity residential resurgence a little closer to Wickenden st. which I think would connect the two energies. I would like to continue but I think I'll fall asleep. Sorry. It's probably better this way. B) "I wear my sunglasses at night."

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Check out Art In Ruins page on Goff's. He's got some pics that illustrate why this building, unfortunately, could not be saved.

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J. Goff's building is gone.

I seem to recall Thom saying during the last UP-Prov meeting that the Davol Sq folks want to eventually develop the entire parking lot area there on the waterfront.

- Garris

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I seem to recall Thom saying during the last UP-Prov meeting that the Davol Sq folks want to eventually develop the entire parking lot area there on the waterfront.

- Garris

Yes, possibly with a tower in the 250 foot range.

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