These pictures are from Robert Gordon-Fogelson, Brown ‘12. Robert is in my cultural heritage class with me and when he heard about my project he told me about one of his photography projects. When I saw these images I knew I had to blast them to world wide webs. Enjoy!


"Providence is a city in transition; it has been since I moved here ten years ago. In these photographs I’ve tried to capture an image of one of the old industrial neighborhoods, once busy and lively, but which has now become marginalized, a no-man’s-land that I like to call the parking lot district.”

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I went back to the Jewelry District. Think I like the photos of this grassy lot on Chestnut Street better.

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My friends will tell you, I am a frequent visitor of the Providence train station. Co-habitating between Providence and Boston requires a lot of trips on the MBTA. I see this empty lot every time I come into the city and every time I leave. It is the welcome mat of the city and the “thanks for coming” sign. 

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Ria brought me to the site of the former Sears on North Main Street. To my empty lot excitement I found a little gap in the fencing where I could sneak myself and my dollhouse through to take these shots.

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Well looky here, Ria and I didn’t have this site (vacant Gold’s Gym on Pawtucket Ave) on our list, but when we drove from Smith Hill down this road, we couldn’t resist the worn abandoned building, spattered graffiti, and general dismal vacancy.

Add it to the list!

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Mashapaug Pond can be considered a “vacant lot.” Gorham’s manufacturing complex was built on the pond in 1890 and then demolished in 1997. The residual chemicals from the manufacturing complex left the pond toxic. 

Find out more on Reservoir of Memories’ website.

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Dollhouse decides to take a break in Job Lot’s lot.

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Vacant Mashapaug Commons

From Reservoir of Memories, “Currently the Mashapaug Commons Plaza is a retail complex that appears to be, for the most part, vacant. The Mashapaug Commons plaza was built as the “first part of the [former Gorham Manufacturing Company] site to be remediated and developed” in 2001. “

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"Financial District, Westminster Street and Jewelry District saw vacancy rates rise for the year"

Article from Providence Business News - “2011 ‘turning point’ for commercial real estate”

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Grove Street Round TWO!

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Site of the former Fruit & Produce Warehouse at 64 Harris Ave.

Thank you Sara Emmeneker for letting me know of this place!

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This time I ventured into the streets of Providence with my friend and classmate Ria. Could you hear the collective thud as we thunked our palms against our heads last week in class. Both of us realized that we would be a super duo for conquering the heritage of the city if we teamed up; one person drives and follows the less-than instinctual routes of Providence while the other fumbles with Googlmaps, perfect.

Ria’s project is entitled, “Used to Be” and she is placing  ”Hello My Name is” stickers around the city and labeling them with what they “used to be,” which is an ubiquitous way to give directions and explain places in Providence. Turns out we have a lot of overlap in our locations because things that used to be sometimes are not there anymore, yet to be replaced, like my vacant lots.

Here’s Ria and our noble steed. 

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Dollhouse photographing round 3. Let’s go.

Dollhouse photographing round 3. Let’s go.

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Venturing in vacant lots (and photographing while lying on the ground) makes for a dirty beating on my clothes. 

Venturing in vacant lots (and photographing while lying on the ground) makes for a dirty beating on my clothes. 

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Public Humanities art installation, Lots in Limbo

Brown students asked Providence residents: “in your wildest dreams, what would you like to see in the vacant lots downtown?”

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