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ArtInRuins

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"The American Screw Company was a complex of factory buildings of brick, timber, and iron construction dating from 1840 to 1873. These buildings were erected on land at the north end of Providence on land sloping upwards from the Moshassuc River. The principal buildings were three or four stories in height, mostly rectangular in form with gable roofs and protruding stair towers."

I placed it where a parking structure for 521 North Main Street is now, between Charles and North Main Streets (see the aerial lay over).

Anyone remember this place? Are my assumptions correct? I just want to get some more input before I make the property "live".

ArtinRuins: The American Screw Company

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"The American Screw Company was a complex of factory buildings of brick, timber, and iron construction dating from 1840 to 1873. These buildings were erected on land at the north end of Providence on land sloping upwards from the Moshassuc River. The principal buildings were three or four stories in height, mostly rectangular in form with gable roofs and protruding stair towers."

I placed it where a parking structure for 521 North Main Street is now, between Charles and North Main Streets (see the aerial lay over).

Anyone remember this place? Are my assumptions correct? I just want to get some more input before I make the property "live".

ArtinRuins: The American Screw Company

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I remember a massive fire down there around 1970 in one of the mill buildings. I'm not sure if it's the one your looking for.

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I remember a massive fire down there around 1970 in one of the mill buildings. I'm not sure if it's the one your looking for.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

1970? For some reason I assumed you were too young to possibly *remember* anything that happened in 1970.

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1970? For some reason I assumed you were too young to possibly *remember* anything that happened in 1970.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was about 12 when the fire occured :blush:

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I think the name Frankie made me think you were younger, if you were Frank I would have thought different. :D

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Yes, these buildings were destroyed by a fire in June 1970, according to HABS/HAER. "In 1949, the American Screw Company moved their operations to Willimantic, Connecticut. The buildings survived intact until a July 1971 fire swept through the complex leaving just charred shells. Today none of the buildings remain."

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Hi, This is a great forum! I've lived in Providence for most of my life and am delighted to find such interesting discussions of my home town. I still live here off Summit Ave on the East Side.

I would like to add some info on American Screw, which as mentioned was torched in c. 1970 just as it was about to be renovated. It stood between North Main and Charles Streets and consisted of a dense precinct of 19th century brick mill buildings, a number of which has mansard roofs.

Two connected buildings still do survive! They are located across North Main from Whole Foods. One to the north has a curved facade and a flat roof and the other to the south has a gabled roof and some elaborate brick detailing. The rest of the area once occupied by American Screw is medical offices and parking lots. Too bad...

The company also had another mill complex on Eddy St. near RI Hospital that was, I believe, demolished to make way for I-95.

American Screw was for a while the largest screw manufacturer in the world and was one of the so-called "Five Wonders of Providence," which also included Brown and Sharpe, Nicholson File, Gorham Silver, and Corliss Steam Engine.

I seem to remember that the Historical American Building Survey has some good b&w photos of the complex. ALso check the Providence Industrial Sites book that you can now download here: http://www.rihphc.state.ri.us/survey/publi...ons_online.html

Hope this helps.

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Two connected buildings still do survive! They are located across North Main from Whole Foods. One to the north has a curved facade and a flat roof and the other to the south has a gabled roof and some elaborate brick detailing. The rest of the area once occupied by American Screw is medical offices and parking lots. Too bad...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks GregW. Yes, I noticed those buildings are still there, but there were not part of the HABS survey of the area, presumably becuase they were owned by another company. I used them as a reference, though, in my overview map, and they line up quite nicely, so that is how I figured out where these mills were. I dont rememeber them ever being there myself.

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Thanks GregW. Yes, I noticed those buildings are still there, but there were not part of the HABS survey of the area, presumably becuase they were owned by another company. I used them as a reference, though, in my overview map, and they line up quite nicely, so that is how I figured out where these mills were. I dont rememeber them ever being there myself.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi again,

I looked in my copy of the Providence Industrial Sites survey and those two buildings are cataloged as: 530 North Main St., American Screw Co. Additions to the Bay State Mills, c. 1882, c. 1908.

American Screw had two complexes at this location: the Bay State and the Eagle Mills on the north and south sides of Stevens St. respectively. I think the big mill with the tower was the main portion of the Bay State Mills and it was lost prior to the 1971 fire. The Eagle Mills were the ones that were going to be fixed up and then got torched. Afterwards, the two American Screw buildings as well as the Fletcher office and warehouse and the Stillman WHite brass foundry down on Charles Street got rehabbed.

The reason that the two surviving American Screw buildings might not show up in the HABS report is that they were not part of the ill-fated redevelopment plan. But no doubt about it: they were once part of the fabled American Screw complex.

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