Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-14-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 CUMBERLAND NOVEMBER 14-20, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland Town Hall Historic District, the town's civic center, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and that's a win for the area and the town as a whole, say local officials. The area last week received the fed- eral recognition for its contributions to the history of community develop- ment and architecture. J. Paul Loether, executive director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, announced that the National Park Service had made the designation. Director of Planning and Community Development Jonathan Stevens said this is all part of the pro- cess of drawing "more of a focus on Valley Falls" and the center of town government, which, as most know, is not centrally located but is in the southern end of town. "It's kind of about time" that this 1894 government building gets the rec- ognition that it deserves, said Stevens. The town won a $10,000 grant from the RIHPHC for a condition appraisal of Town Hall and what it would take to restore it, said Stevens. There is an element of community pride here, he said, but seeking rec- ognition of historic properties goes hand-in-hand with the National Park effort and impacts the way the town is marketed to the heritage tourism com- munity. "It's a piece of the puzzle," he said. A renovated Town Hall, combined with a planned reshaped and beauti- fied Broad Street and the nearby space at Heritage Park, could stimulate con- versation on other buildings, including finding an adaptive reuse for the old post office building next to Town Hall, said Stevens. It's always important for people to appreciate the historic aspects of the community, said Stevens. The renewed focus on maintaining and preserving Town Hall shows a continued departure from the discus- sions of a few years ago, when local officials were discussing moving Town Hall offices to a more centralized loca- tion in town. The Cumberland Town Hall Historic District includes two buildings and one statue near the northeast corner of Broad and Mill Streets in the village of Valley Falls. The Town Hall, a three-story Colonial Revival-style brick structure with a wood clock tower, was designed by William R. Walker & Son and erected in 1894. The granite statue depicting a World War II infantry- man is part of a memorial to veterans located near the southwest corner of Town Hall. Next door to the east is the former Valley Falls Post Office/ Valley Falls Free Library, a two-story brick commercial building constructed around 1890. In 1746, a boundary dispute was resolved by bringing 36 square miles of Attleborough, Mass. into Rhode Island, to be incorporated as the town Focus on town center with historic designation By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor The former VALLEY FALLS COMPANY STORE on Mill Street with Cumberland Town Hall in the background. See HISTORIC, Page 11 ABOUT US The Valley Breeze is a locally owned newspaper Office location: 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, RI 02865 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends and holidays. Call us: 401-334-9555 Fax: 401-334-9994 Online: READER SERVICES DO YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA? Contact Managing Editor Ethan Shorey at or call 401-334-9555, ext. 130. 24-hour, 7-day voice mail. ADVERTISING – Call your sales representative, or Director of Sales Jack Birolini at 401-334- 9555, ext. 141 or email: CLASSIFIEDS – Place ads at, or call 401-334-9555 during office hours. 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