Who We Are Our Neighborhood Our History

 

The Armory Arts District encompasses fifteen city blocks adjacent to the historic Blackstone River in the city of Pawtucket just north of Providence, Rhode Island. Artists, designers, and performers live and/or work in studios and performance spaces in ten repurposed brick mill buildings in the district. In the heart of the district is the Pawtucket Armory Arts Center.

 

1. 172 Exchange Street: The Pawtucket Armory was built in 1884-85 and was the first large armory built in Rhode Island. Designed by William R. Walker & Son in a Romanesque Revival style with two towers, the building looks like a fortified castle. It was used by the Tower Light Infantry of Pawtucket, the Kearny Light Infantry (Company G 2nd Regiment Infantry) of Central Falls, and the Pawtucket Horse Guards First Cavalry Battalion. Over the years it has been used for other social and community functions. In 2002 the city turned the building over to the Pawtucket Armory Association and parts of the building accommodated the Gamm Repertory Theatre Company and the Jaqueline Walsh Public High School for the Arts. In 2011 the Armory was sold to Joseph's Properties and it has since been renovated as an event center as well as studios for dance, yoga, and artists.



2. 161 Exchange Street: built in 1880 as part of the Rhode Island Cardboard Company complex, the builing was purchased in 2010 by LLB Architects and repurposed in 2010 as architectural and design studios/offices.




3. 163 Exchange Street: Built in 1880, the Rhode Island Card Board Company complex consisted of two brick industrial buildings linked at the street elevation. The cardboard manufacturing machines produced shirt collars, photographical materials, wedding stationery, tubes, and other materials. In 1889, the company was producing 8,000 pounds of cardboard products daily. Morris and Phyllis Nathanson purchased the buildings in 1976 and converted one of the buildings into the first work/live lofts in Pawtucket. Blackstone Studios has been the home of Morris Nathason Design, several design firms and artists' studios ever since.




4. 10 Exchange Court: Built in 1904, the building served as the Lebanon Knitting Mill and other industries until the 1960’s when it was sold to J&K Jewelry.  J&K occupied a small portion of the building until it was sold in 2002 to Blackstone Exchange, a development company. The Lebanon Building was combined with an adjoining building, formerly the Vesta Knitting Mill (makers of woolen and cotton underwear) and developed as work/live condominiums in 2004. Many of the residents are artists or designers.



5. SANDRA FEINSTEIN-GAMM THEATRE is a professional repretory company performing in a renovated garage that once was owned by the Pawtucket School Department.



6. JOHN LITTLE BUILDING is home to Mirror Image, a screen printing company and artist studios.



7. TRACY GLOVER Glass Studio is office and a glass blowing facility attached to 65 Blackstone..

8. 65 Blackstone Avenue: Built circa 1900 in red brick, the building was eventually to house the offices and manufacturing facilities of The Halliwell Company after the company was formed in 1916. The Halliwell company was a bleacher and dyer of textile fabric. The company was owned locally by the Halliwell family and was in existence until the very end of the 1930's. The building was subsequently used by a jewelry manufacturer and until recently a label and package manufacturer. Recent repurposing has been carried out by Mark House to accommodate a gym, a Parkinson's center, a members' art studio /gallery, and a cafe.



9. FOUNTAIN STREET STUDIOS is home for a plastics fabrication company that shares its building with artists, photographers, designers and media firms.

10. The new location of TEN31, multi-media performance space and production company.

 

 

ALSO IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD


Tolman High School


Spanning the Blackstone River is the Morris Nathanson Bridge
with the Blackstone Valley Bike Path to the left.


The white building is the Fuller Jewelry Findings Building,
which is now being developed as work/live condo units.