1150 Pawtucket Avenue

Rumford, RI  02916-1897

Phone: (401) 434-8880

Fax (401) 434-1615

Elizabeth Webbing Mills, Central Falls, RI


Caputo and Wick Ltd. served on a team of design professionals charged with the conversion of a large portion of the former Elizabeth Webbing 
Mills to residential condominiums and commercial office space.  The property sits along the Blackstone River at the Pantex Dam and is located within a significant portion of the river’s 100-year floodplain.  The parcel includes hydroelectric facilities at the dam (within a Blackstone Valley Electric easement) and a boat launch used by City emergency personnel.  
Working with the Proponent’s architect (ai designs, ltd.) and landscape architect (Searle Design Group), Caputo and Wick Ltd. provided survey, design, and environmental services.  Engineering facets included partial building and pavement demolition, structural building reinforcement, reconfigured parking lots, flood-protection measures, compensatory floodplain storage provisions, enhanced stormwater management features, boat ramp improvements, landscape improvements, riverbank stabilization enhancements, and recreational access to the hydroelectric facility for the creation of a pedestrian river-view platform.  Historic classification of the mill buildings required pre-coordination with the RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission (RIHPHC), particularly concerning flood-wall design to protect the lowest occupied building level.  Local zoning variances were required through the City, freshwater wetlands permitting was required through the US Army Corps of Engineers and RIDEM, and utility coordination occurred with the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) and National Grid.  Overall services provided by our firm included site and buildings survey, interior structural assessments, loading reinforcement, site and drainage design, flood analysis, floodplain certification, environmental permitting, and construction administration and observation. The project owner and developer, TAI-O Real Estate Group, was awarded a Rhody Award for Historic Preservation in 2016 by Preserve Rhode Island and RIHPHC for the rehabilitation and residential conversion of the sprawling mill complex. 
Below, top row, photo pairs show pre- and post-project conditions of the southerly building exterior and associated grounds.  The middle row shows pre-project conditions at the northeast corner of the mill (left image), the same corner under post-project conditions with the flood wall installed and partially disguised with shrub plantings (middle two images), and bank stabilization along the Blackstone River (rightmost image).  The bottom row shows vehicle and pedestrian access ways and various design solutions to abrupt grade changes while retaining original mill features.