Cranston Street Armory may soon be restored

Photo by Steve Nielsen

PROVIDENCE (WPRI) –  After nearly two decades of vacancy, changes may be coming to the Cranston Street Armory.

The building has remained mostly vacant for nearly twenty years, with just the State Fire Marshal’s Office inside. The state had a plan to repair the building, but it came to a halt after officials say the repairs would cost more than expected. But, the historic building may be restored and reused in the near future.

On Thursday, community members and potential bidders took a tour of the castle-like building that’s been a landmark on Cranston Street since 1907. Rhode Island’s Department of Administration could choose one of the bidder’s restoration proposal ideas.

Christine West is a partner at Kite Architects and also lives nearby the armory. “This building has been such a presence in the neighborhood. I’ve lived here 10 years now and the question is always on the neighbors’ minds what is going to happen with this building? So it’s exciting to see this actually create an opportunity for something to happen,” says West.

Department of Administration Director of Policy, Allison Rogers, says her goal is to choose the proposal with the best economic use for the armory. She was impressed with today’s outcome. “We were glad to see such a large turnout of interested individuals so we are looking forward to receiving the proposals and looking forward to the project.” said Rogers.

The Department of Administration is accepting proposals until the end of June, they hope to choose one by the end of this year.

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