WHEREAS, Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and described by author Robert M. Fogelson as "one of the most picturesque (armories) in the country," the Cranston Street Armory is a vital landmark in the history of Rhode Island and an architectural treasure unique to the Ocean State; and
WHEREAS, In the 19th century, the State Arsenal stood on this site. A mill later erected there was eventually razed and work began on the armory in 1903. Architect William R. Walker and builder Michael J. Houlihan, both of Providence, completed the project in February 1908; and
WHEREAS, When it was built, the armory served as the civic center for the state. The mammouth drill hall, 230 feet by 170 feet, was the stage for the governor's ball, state track meets, circuses, dog shows and even naval gunfire practice; and
WHEREAS, Sprawling the length of a city block, its distinctive copper-topped turrets and battlements more reminiscent of a medieval European citadel than the home of a modern army, the Cranston Street Armory offers considerable usable space and is historically important. To abandon or destroy it would be a crime against the state's heritage. Rhode Island, throughout its unique history, has often found ways to preserve those very special landmarks which define our people's past, present and future. To fail to act in this instance by not exploring every avenue to save and restore the fabled Cranston Street Armory would be an irretrievable loss to ourselves and our posterity; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby respectfuly requests that the Rhode Island Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission speed up the hearing process and insure a thorough and efficient implementation of a memorandum of agreement with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to preserve the Cranston Street Armory; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Frederick C. Williamson, Sr., Chairman of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, and Ted Sanderson, the State Historic Preservation, Officer.