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Mile of History Association Initiatives

Over the course of our first year, we aggressively advocated for the repair of our sidewalks, streets, tree wells, and streetlights. In collaboration with the Providence Preservation Society, we documented and reported numerous violations at properties owned by absentee landlords. We attended meetings of the Historic District Commission, the City Plan Commission, the City Council, and local neighborhood association meetings to advocate for issues that impact the historic character and livability of our neighborhood.

 

Street Light Restoration

We conducted a comprehensive assessment of deteriorating street lamp conditions. The assessment report was submitted to the Providence’s Director of Public Property. View the complete assessment report.

We researched and wrote a grant application to the RI Commerce Corporation Streetscape Improvement Fund for restoration of the decorative streetlights. The application was submitted by the Providence’s Department of Public Property.


Sidewalk repair

We prepared detailed photographic surveys of sidewalk issues and submitted the surveys to Ward 1, 2, and 12 city councilors and Providence’s Director of Department of Public Works.


Signage and Graffiti Issues

We produced a photographic report of signage issues and submitted report to ward city councilors and Providence’s Director of Department of Public Works.


Tree Well restoration

We produced a one-page report showing examples of deteriorating tree wells and proposed solutions and estimated costs for restoration. The report was submitted to Providence’s Director of Department of Public Works.


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Property Conditions

MoHA partially funded a Providence Preservation Society study of landlord conditions on Benefit Street. The study was submitted to the Providence Department of Inspections and Standards.

We also regularly submit landlord code violations to the Providence’s Department of Inspection and Standards, and infrastructure complaints to the Mayor’s Center for City Services, via code 311.


Advocacy

We developed and disseminated a brochure documenting neighborhood conditions and contrasting them with media accounts touting the historical value of the neighborhood. View the brochure.

MoHA representatives attended numerous meetings of the Historic District Commission, the City Plan Commission, and the City Council in support of neighbors and organizations opposing landlord plans for the Welcome Arnold House and Keene Street properties. We attended the RISD Master Plan neighborhood meeting and represented MoHA at meetings regarding the Edge College Hill development, Fane Tower, and 195 parcel development.

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Coordination of Mile of History Cultural and Historic Organizations

A MoHA committee that includes the Directors of the RISD Museum and the Rhode Island Historical Society, as well as representatives of the Convention Bureau and the Providence’s Arts and Tourism Department, has been established to coordinate the historic and cultural organizations on and near Benefit Street in order to promote their branding, marketing, and collaboration. The purpose of this collaboration is to promote Providence as a historic and cultural center and to enhance the programming, visitorship, community impact, and funding for the individual organizations. To further improve the visitor experience, these organizations will advocate for the restoration and on-going maintenance of public infrastructure along the Mile of History.


It is too fine a street, too richly wrapped in history, to be allowed to fall into disrepute.
— Margaret Bingham Stillwell, The Pageant of Benefit Street, 1945