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Apartments (Valley Falls Mill, also known as Blackstone Mill)
Here the conversion from near ruin to apartments has so denatured the mill that one might not stop, except that this was once headquarters for a major textile dynasty. Controlled by the brothers Samuel B. and Harvey Chace under the corporate names of the Valley Falls Company and S. B. and H. Chace, in the twentieth century it was taken over piecemeal by other companies (this factory was absorbed by the nearby and, by then, even larger Sayles Corporation; see under Saylesville in Lincoln).
What remains from a much larger complex is a medium-sized brick mill, with windowsills and lintels trimmed in granite. It is important as another major early brick factory building. Its central tower is unusually capped with a cross-gabled roof in which each of the ridgelines slopes from its central point, the front gable less so than the others—a so-called helm roof, from an archaic term for “helmet.” If one can mentally strip the apartment “beautification” and imagine the original treatment of the tower, the proportions of the arched openings to the tower and their placement are especially handsome: a stack of wide, segmental-arched loading doors flanked by arched window slots, then a nice arrangement of company name, oculus, hoist, and, hard above it, the triplet of
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