Monday, March 28, 2022

Warren's Child Street Water Works Presentation

Warren’s Child Street Water Works: An Irreplaceable Riverfront Landscape

A Presentation by Ned Connors

Historically, The Bristol and Warren Water Works facility was opened to much public acclaim on June 4, 1908. The modern water pumping and filtration station at the Child Street facility on the banks of the Kickemuit River commenced the delivery of pure, hygienic drinking water to the residents and businesses of these two towns. The rehabilitation and reuse of these threatened examples of our shared architectural and engineering heritage is of great interest to those seeking to preserve our historical landscape and to advocate for sustainable communities.

Click on the link to view the presentation on youtube:

At our March Meeting on Thursday, March 24 at Imago Gallery historian and preservation consultant Ned Connors gave a presentation on the beginnings Rhode Island's public water supply and led a discussion of the preservation issues associated with the survival and successful reuse of these historic buildings. The presentation focused on the fate of the old Child Street pumping station and storage house that have been recently slated for demolition. 

The meeting was well attended by WPS and community members as well as members of the Warren Town Council. The director of the BCWA, Steve Couto, was also in attendance. After the presentation by Mr. Connors, and following some questions from the audience, the director of the BCWA offered that although the buildings are no longer useful to the water company, they are willing to consider possibilities for preservation and adaptive reuse of the buildings. 

Much thanks to Ned Connors for taking the lead on the future of these historic buildings and for putting together such a well-researched presentation that covered the historic background of these buildings and provided the context for a thoughtful discussion about their future. Thank you to everyone in attendance for providing much appreciated community support. 

WPS will continue to be involved and keep the community informed about this important preservation issue.