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Harrisville Mill Complex

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1895–1926. 1911, Mill No. 4. Adolph Suck. Off Main St. south of East Ave.

This became the headquarters mill for Austin Levy's extensive Stillwater Worsted operations. Despite Levy's activity in town building at Harrisville, he contributed nothing of architectural consequence to the nondescript cluster of fourteen buildings which make up the present mill complex. The dominant building in the complex, Mill No. 4, built in 1911, at the very end of Ernest Tinkham's regime, is (or was) exceptional, however. It has been so altered that its original state can be seen only in photographs. It was one of the earliest reinforced-concrete–framed mills in Rhode Island and, at the time of its construction, was alleged to be the largest concrete-framed mill in New England. Windows, now mostly blind with cinder block, once boldly filled the frames with wooden sash (as the view of the rear wall best reveals). Under the circumstances, the incongruity of the spindly, medievalized tower with its crudely cast climax of balconies and corner crenellations seems more appropriate to the battered remains which now exist than a herald of a new approach to the twentieth-century factory.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.

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