"SueRivet's new Pawtucket Page" Pawtucket by SueRivet

Pawtucket Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 33 photos

Pawtucket, a Native American name meaning "At the Falls", is an older mill town located on the Massachusetts border, 45 minutes south of Boston. The primary touristic site is the Slater Mill, home of the textile industry. Loom weaving technology was brought to this country by Samuel Slater. The Slater Mill is located on a pretty bit of land at the falls, which once powered the factory. The Wilkinson Mill, located in an adjacent building, maintains water power connections to the river. For more info, see <a href="http://www.slatermill.org">Slater Mill</a>.


The rest of the nearby downtown area is, well, sad. Pawtucket is like a lot of old mill towns in New England, in that it was once a bustling center of activity, but is now scarred with the results of the Urban Renewal fad of the 60's and 70's.

Actually, were it just a fad. At the moment the PRA is pursuing initial steps to acquire and demolish the largest remaining century-old brick buildings in the downtown area, to create a parking lot. "They paved paradise, ..."

The PRA's biggest claim to fame is the redevelopment, 30 years later, of its first redevelopment project, the Benjamin Chester building on Main St. Formerly a junior department store, the Chester building was redesigned as an office building. Occupying one-third of the building is, guess what, you're right, the PRA. And who, you ask, was Benjamin Chester? One of the founding fathers of the city? The former owner of the department store, perhaps? No, he is one of the founding fathers of the PRA!! As Yakov Smirnoff (remember him?) would say, what a country!!


Note: postcard is by Stanley J. Szelka, 1854 Smith Street, North Providence, RI 02911

  • Intro Written Sep 11, 2002
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