WEST WARWICK—West Warwick was a major industrial town more than 100 years ago, and revitalizing the historic structures in the area has been a major priority for town and government officials alike.
Built in 1809, Lippitt Mill became a manufacturing icon and it grew tremendously during its years in operation.
In 2008, 825 Main Street LLC and owner John Ponte acquired the mill and Riverpoint Laceworks — the company that occupied the mill for nearly a century — and it was recognized as the oldest and longest working textile mill in the country.
Following the floods of 2010 however, the 205-year-old structure was in dire need of repairs and Town Manager Fred Presley said he was worried it would be demolished.
“A year ago the state historic preservation conference was here in West Warwick and we did a tour of the mill and the main topic of discussion was that this is the most vulnerable structure in the state and we thought we would lose it,” he said.
But through the hard work of Ponte, Harry Angevine of Millennium Development, LLC and Michael Abbott of Northeast Collaborative Architects the mill will be transformed into residential units for people ages 55 and older.
A press conference was held yesterday at the mill to celebrate the next step in the building’s history.
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