Since 2015, The Historic Trust has been honored to invest more than $16.5 million from donors, businesses, and foundations to purchase, maintain, and rehabilitate Providence Academy and interpret and share the inspiring history of the Sisters of Providence.
Regrettably, part of the stewardship of this historically-important site now includes the demolition of the Laundry Building and Boiler Plant/smokestack. When it purchased the site in 2015, the Trust knew these buildings were highly deteriorated. Yet, the organization explored options for rehabilitation, including marketing them to experts in historic building redevelopment. Ultimately, no businesses were interested in pursuing rehabilitation. Finally, after years of structural and hazardous materials testing, exploration of rehabilitation options, and development of financial pro formas, it became clear that the buildings faced insurmountable odds for economically-feasible stabilization and re-use. As a result, the Trust made the difficult decision to remove the structures. While they must be removed, the Trust takes seriously its responsibility to document their histories and continue interpreting their roles in site operation.
When will the Laundry Building and Boiler Plant/Smokestack be taken down?
• The current timeline is that abatement procedures will begin on August 22 to prepare for the safe removal of the buildings. Once those procedures are complete, demolition of the buildings will begin.
• Our priority is the safety of the public, our tenants, workers, and guests.
• The demolition site will remain fenced off for the duration of the project.
How long will the process take?
Demolition is expected to take 4 – 6 weeks after abatement concludes.
Who will do the building removal?
The Vancouver-based environmental construction firm 3 Kings Environmental Inc. will perform the hazardous materials abatement and the removal of the buildings.
How will the structures be removed?
3 Kings Environmental will utilize a high-reach excavator, which allows precise, targeted removal. A processor attachment on the high-reach excavator will help keep debris within or close to the radius of the stack.
How will The Historic Trust preserve the history of the buildings?
In addition to continuing the stewardship of the Academy itself and telling the history of the awe-inspiring accomplishments of Mother Joseph and the Sisters of Providence, the Trust will:
• Take large-scale photographs to document the buildings. These photos have been completed and will be made publicly available.
• Research and write an in-depth history of the site.
• Salvage historic building materials such as bricks, windows, and doors, as feasible for the collections of the Sisters of Providence, the Trust, and other historical organizations, and re-use on site.
• Continue creating educational programs and exhibits to interpret the inspiring history of the Sisters of Providence for residents and visitors.
Can the public come to watch the demolition?
While we understand public interest, this demolition will be a long, slow process. During the abatement, it may even appear that nothing is occurring. The site is and will continue to be fenced off for safety reasons. Many other activities nearby, including active construction at both the Providence Academy and the Aegis I apartments on C Street make the site very busy and congested. Any visitors are encouraged to take care, avoid restricted areas, and be aware of their surroundings.