Jump to content

Cotuit

PAWTUCKET STATION THREATENED

Recommended Posts

Also to counter one of the skeptics points, there's no question of the historical value of the station. According to RIHPHC's Pawtucket survey, it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Not that I can confirm that anything he says is patently untrue, though as eltron pointed out, the siting studies are being done with federal funds, this guy sounds typically anti-transit. I've heard that the T has said exactly the opposite regarding rail in RI. They've said as long as we can fund it, we can build whatever we want and they'll serve it. Also, I don't understand this "extending the short distance to Pawt/CF" statement. The T already goes to Providence and is committed to going to Green, so what the hell does that mean, they aren't extending anything by building/re-opening a station in Pawtucket, they already have trains going through town.

I'm pretty sure that's just a study, but it's nice. Current thinking as far as I've heard is that there would be somesort of residential 'tower' on site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


this station project is hot in this forum, but it looks like the renderings came out a year ago and I last recall reading an article about the proposed demolition of this structure a couple months back.

anything new out there on this?

This project/proposal/plan has been going through a lot of ups and downs. The current status (it could have changed in the last 10 minutes) is that the city is looking into two options, renovating and reopening the existing station, or building a new station at a different location. The city seems to prefer renovating the existing station, but looking for federal money means they need to consider all options. Demolition of the existing station is certainly still a possibility, but seems to be less so now than it was just a few months ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This project/proposal/plan has been going through a lot of ups and downs. The current status (it could have changed in the last 10 minutes) is that the city is looking into two options, renovating and reopening the existing station, or building a new station at a different location. The city seems to prefer renovating the existing station, but looking for federal money means they need to consider all options. Demolition of the existing station is certainly still a possibility, but seems to be less so now than it was just a few months ago.

I made contact with the people from the web site and asked about some of the issues. This is the Responce I got this mourning

"I anticipate there will be more action this spring. For one thing, a team of consultants from VHB Engineering are reviewing the site(s) for their feasibility; then we may need to go back to Council to help assure future Federal support for this project. So thanks for your interest and stand by for updates."

Rich Davis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also to counter one of the skeptics points, there's no question of the historical value of the station. According to RIHPHC's Pawtucket survey, it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Actually, the Pawtucket/Central Falls Station has never been formally listed in the National register. It is listed in the Historic Resources Survey book for Pawtucket as a "significant property" and has been "formally determined eligible for listing in the National Register" but nobody has actually taken the steps to complete the NR nomination. I will contradict myself a little bit by saying that it being "formally determined eligible" does actually give it the same protections that an actual listing would... so its all kind of redundant. Welcome to the nitty gritty of preservation.

I made contact with the people from the web site and asked about some of the issues. This is the Responce I got this mourning

"I anticipate there will be more action this spring. For one thing, a team of consultants from VHB Engineering are reviewing the site(s) for their feasibility; then we may need to go back to Council to help assure future Federal support for this project. So thanks for your interest and stand by for updates."

Rich Davis

I have a contact in the Cultural Resources division of VHB who told me she would be happy to feed any information from the Engineering division on this project. All we have to do is ask...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "building a station at another location" option that Cotuit mentioned, I beleive that would be at the rail yard in Pawtucket closer to the Providence border.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "building a station at another location" option that Cotuit mentioned, I beleive that would be at the rail yard in Pawtucket closer to the Providence border.

Is that the area just north of Smithfield Ave?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, the area near Smithfield Ave is actually a layover facility... in order for MBTA to run trains into RI, they have to have a place to park them off the main line when they are not in use, i.e. at night. They cant just keep them on the main line, as Amtrak trains run pretty much 24/7, and it would be redundant to drive them back up to wherever the nearest layover facility is in Mass. So DOT was required to build the layover facility before MBTA would be able to run more trains in RI. Gotta give DOT credit for getting this taken care of as fast as they did.

The alternative station that I think Cotuit is mentioning is the area that is currently being used or proposed to be used by a trash hauling company as a transfer station and recylcing yard or some such thing... the City of Pawtucket doesnt want it located where it is, so I believe there is some lawsuit going on... I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a clearing along the rail lines in what I would consider to be the center of that map ... but when I zoom in, that clearing turns out to be a cemetery. Am I just misreading your statement?

Nevermind, I see it now. Gotcha. Just north of the cemetery -- assuming north is "up," that is.

Edited by Lone Ranger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a clearing along the rail lines in what I would consider to be the center of that map ... but when I zoom in, that clearing turns out to be a cemetery. Am I just misreading your statement?

Just above the cemetary is a rail yard. I pretty sure Recchia's right on this as the alternate location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just above the cemetary is a rail yard. I pretty sure Recchia's right on this as the alternate location.

I think so too. The Barton/Weeden St. area is real hardscrabble, so if the station goes there it should help out that immediate area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote to the Pawtucket Foundation to pledge my support and to offer my help. They sent me an update:

Update

------In July 2005 the property was reported by the local press to have been sold by Jean Vitali to the Memphis group SMPO which you saw referenced in the materials from the hearings last winter. The SMPO group then transferred the property to a limited liability corporation registered in Delaware, "Warwick RICS LLC".

-----During the fall and winter, the so-called FRIP (freight rail improvement project), undertaken by Amtrak with State and Federal assistance, was completed. This is a project which began in the mid 90's to upgrade the freight lines in Rhode Island, envisioning larger containers on rail cars and triple-stacked auto carriers, etc.

Some bridges and other features needed to be raised and/or tracks lowered. In the case of the Pawtucket station, the freight tracks were lowered, allowing the building to remain. This was made possible by the determination of the Keeper of the National Register (National Park Service) in 1997 that the building was eligible for National Register listing.

-----Other claims to the title involving the station and the air rights above the tracks have yet to be sorted out in court . This it is believed will tie up commercial development of the site until ownership issues are resolved.

-----A team led by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, consulting engineers, is currently working on the official feasibility study for commuter rail, made possible by State and Federal funding. The project is being undertaken by the City of Pawtucket under contract to the Rhode Island Dept of Transportation, with the participation on the Steering Committee of the City of Central Falls. Two sites for the commuter rail stop are being evaluated: one is the existing station site and the other is the Pawtucket rail yard, owned by Providence & Worcester Railroad, a couple of hundred yards to the southwest.

------We have also established that Federal transportation law, especially section 4(f) of the National Transportation Act, adds a further layer of protection to the historic building where Federal transportation funds are being applied for, as in this case. There are measures to prevent any adverse action by a developer, which apply not only to buildings eligible for the National Register but also those which are deemed "eligible" for listing.

-----We are working with the Congressional delegation to consolidate Federal support for the commuter rail project.

Looks like things are looking better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kurt, can you give us a basic rundown of the proposals for the existing station alternative? I.e. parking garages, retail at the site now that the council has voted to keep the residential zoning in place, etc. I've seen and heard so many different things I'm getting confused as to what is out there now.

And I take it VHB is not only looking at the feasibility of commuter rail stopping there itself, but also at the feasibility of the actual structure to serve as a station?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever it's worth, the last time I checked out the place over the winter the glass was still all boarded up, so they are obviously moving forward with something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good pics, chief!

This station would look great if it ends up getting restored. It would be a a Pawtucket historic landmark, like Slater Mill. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.