Sunday, August 4, 2013

French Worsted Company Mill Souvenir Building

A finely made miniature replica of the French Worsted buildings has a copper finish with a base measuring 5 x 7 inches and standing 2.5 inches tall. The original was made around the 1930's and a reproduction of this souvenir building was also made a few years ago of ‘bonded bronze.’ Despite being placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, the real French Worsted Company Mill complex was razed in early 2013. The historic district in Woonsocket, Rhode Island featured a mill and offices constructed between 1906 and 1939 with the backing of Woonsocket politician Aram Pothier, who convinced French investors to support the mill. Once the employer of hundreds of city residents, the long-vacant French Worsted Company Mill was a sprawling six-and-a-half acre site with 16 buildings. From the National Register of Historic Places document: Designed by Woonsocket architect Walter Fontaine and built by the Tiberghien textile interests of Turcoing, France, for spinning and finishing of worsted yarn for fine women’s and men’s wear, the earliest construction in 1906 consisted of Mill No. 1, with an attached boiler house, engine room, dynamo room, a carpenter/machine shop, and a detached, mansard-roofed office building. An elevated spur line from the neighboring NYNH&H tracks extended from a point south of the complex to a coal pile west of the first boiler house and Mill No. 1. This first phase of construction was followed in 1909 by the construction of Mill No. 2 (Building 7) a Sorting Building (Building 8) and, in 1911, a Wool Store House (Building 9). Worsted carried out a major expansion in the 1920s. This included a Dye House (Building 10), a Combing Building (Building 11), an expanded Engine Room (Building 4) to accommodate three more boilers, and an overhead walkway to connect the two principal mill buildings. Additional construction in the 1920s included a Second Carpenter / Machine Shop with attached stockroom (Building 12) and infill (Building 13) in the alley that originally separated Mill No. 2 from the Sorting and Wool Storage Buildings.” The complex was recently torn down and some very eerie events occurred during the demolition. A paranormal investigator was called in to have a ‘conversation with the spirits’ to allow the work to continue. 

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails