It is a large complex on the east side of Dexter Street at the corner of Dexter
and Sprague streets. The complex consists of three parts: a three-story brick
building facing Westfield Street (1890), a two-story brick factory building
facing Dexter Street, and a four-story building (ADA Building) to the east.
The Dexter Street factory building (1952) stands behind a paved lot on the east
side of Dexter Street. It is a large, two-story, brick, rectangular structure
with a flat roof. Several loading bays are located on the first floor level
of the west elevation. Fenestration is comprised of rows of rectangular, fixed
and awning windows. To the east is the three-story, brick block set perpendicular
to the street. The building features segmental-arch window openings with a combination
of multi-light sash and brick and wood infill with stone sills. A tall, brick
smokestack with brick corbelling stands as a prominent feature of the complex.
To the east is the four-story, gable-roof, L-shaped Loft building, which stands
parallel to Sprague Street. This block features similar fenestration to the
three-story block and features a one-story boiler room on its northwest side.
A two-story, wood-frame building clad in metal sheathing stands on the north
side of Westfield Street.
The earliest part of the complex is the ADA Building, which is identified by
a datestone as having been constructed in 1892. By 1919, the property was occupied
by Providence Lithograph which owned the 102 Westfield Street section. At that
time, storage houses for Providence Lithograph were located at the Dexter Street
side of the complex where the 1952 addition was constructed. On the Harrison
Avenue side of the complex there was a neighboring building which housed the
National Elastic and Webbing Company. Rau Fasteners, established in 1912, was
the leading distributor of metal snap fasteners in the nation and played a large
role in the Rhode Island economy. According to the Providence Journal, the company
was founded by Lues Reiter. The 1929 directory identifies Rau Fastener at the
102 Westfield Street location, with a capitalization of $100,000 under the leadership
of Lues Reiter, president, and James H. Arthur, secretary-treasurer. By 1949,
the company was run by Harold J. Reiter, president, and Herman Reiter, treasurer.
A 30,000 square foot addition was made in 1952, greatly enhancing the size
of the complex. By 1955 the complex appears as it does today. Rau Fasteners
retained ownership of the property through to 1961. According to the Providence
Journal, the complex was purchased by U.S. Industries in 1968. The property
was transferred to Rau Fasteners, Inc. in 1985. The current owner is Rhode Island