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158 Bowen Street, detail

Southside Gateways, Rehabilitation & Neighborhood Revitalization Award, Plain and Public Streets

Stop Wasting Abandoned Property (S.W.A.P.) set out to create two gateways from downtown Providence into the South Side, one of which was created through the renovation of historic houses along Public and Plain Streets. The project also serves as a gateway into the Potters Avenue Revitalization area, an earlier S.W.A.P. project. The residential rehabilitations have created much needed high quality, affordable housing in an area suffering from deterioration, disinvestment, and blight.

The rehabilitated houses demonstrate what can be accomplished when an established community organization like S.W.A.P. combines efforts with Rhode Island Housing, who funded the project. Brian Poor from David Presbrey Architects took on the challenge of creating an appropriate design solution. This project has done far more than rehabilitate a few houses. It has revitalized a streetscape and breathed new life into a neighborhood in peril. S.W.A.P.’s continued commitment to neighborhood revitalization in Providence is exemplified through this historic preservation effort.