Providence Preservation Society Industrial Sites and Commercial Buildings Survey 2001-2002
Fall River Iron Works
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231 South Main Street
Year Built
ca. 1848
Total Land Area (sf)
~ 21,432
Total Bldg. Area (sf)
~ 45,192

# Parcels

Zoning (Note- may not cover entire site)
National Register Status (Explain)
Included in ICBD (Explain)
Original Owner
In Enterprise Community (EC)
2000 Census Tract
PCIS Business Inventory
# Businesses: # Employees :
% Complete: Avg. # Yrs:
Year Surveyed: State Register: No
Other surveys:
RIHPHC Form: No Citywide: No
1981 Report: No Woon Greenway: No
HAER: No Promenade: No
See bibliography for survey explanation.
Note: RIHPHC Form status changes rapidly. Contact them for most current data.
Blank Fields= Info not available

This three-and one-half-story, brick, Greek Revival-style building, with a gable roof, corbelled cornice and granite stone front, dates from the mid-nineteenth century. Due to a change in topography, the building’s west elevation stands four-stories in height. Fenestration is comprised of rectangular openings with 6/6 sash and simple stone lintels and sills; storefront windows are fixed, single-light. Recessed entrances are located along the So. Main Street elevation (east). Shed-roof dormers project along both the north and south roof slopes of the building.

Fall River Iron Works purchased the land around 1845 because of its waterfront location. The company constructed the building ca. 1848 for use as an office and warehouse when the company extended its operations from Fall River to Providence. In 1881 they sold the building to the Fall River & Providence Steamboat Company. Four years later, the building was purchased by Rumford Chemicals, manufacturers of Horsford’s Cream of Tartar Substitute, bread preparation, baking powder, Rumford yeast powder, and Horsford’s acid phosphate. They used the Providence location as a site for their main office, labeling departments, packing, shipping and advertising departments, and research labs until 1927 when the property was sold to the Phillips Lead Company. Phillips Lead occupied the building until 1973 when they sold it to RISD architectural department (Woodward 1986; Kulik 1979).

Ownership information (as of previous year's Tax Roll) is available via our internet mapper.
Read about the mapping application here.
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The online Industrial Sites and Commercial Buildings Survey is a partnership between the Providence Preservation Society and The Providence Plan