Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Project Profile: Thames Street Landing, Bristol, RI

Nestled on Narragansett Bay in the heart of New England sits the small town of Bristol, Rhode Island. Recently awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a "Vacation Destination for 2009", Bristol is known for its peaceful charm, friendly residents, and famous 4th of July celebration (Main Street is even decorated year round with a red, white and blue center stripe).
Located in the waterfront Historic District of Bristol is Thames Street Landing. This mixed-use property consists of a boutique-style Inn, shops and restaurants, and combines the amenities of today with the site's important historical significance.
Constructed in the 1800's, the waterfront location originally served as a shipping and receiving site. During the devastating hurricane that struck the New England region in 1938, much of the waterfront and surrounding buildings were severely damaged - even to this day, a stone building on the property displays a permanent '"dent" where it was struck by a large ship during the storm.
In the years following the hurricane the waterfront was home to various businesses, including a lumber yard, quahog processing plant, and bank, however, the area gradually deteriorated and was left abandoned.
Over the last 7-10 years the site has undergone a tremendous revitalization that has transformed the waterfront into a functional and enjoyable area. To preserve its connection with the past, the property was constructed using traditional materials. Slate floorings, woodwork, and natural stone materials all complement the interior and exterior of the property. Wightman Specialty Woods has been proud to provide many custom mouldings specifically designed to maintain historical accuracy, as well as Red Oak materials that skilled carpenters have used to create much of the interior millwork for the Inn and restaurants.

The restoration and redevelopment of this beautiful waterfront property has allowed both town residents and travelers to appreciate and enjoy the essence of Bristol - a quintessential New England town.
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