Followup Friday

Back on December 29, I shared photos of the following buildings in A Building’s Story and asked readers to guess what the original purpose of these buildings were.

Building C: Front and West Side

Building C: Front and West Side

Building C: Back and East Side (Sorry about the sun obstructing the roof line!)

Building C: Back and East Side (Sorry about the sun obstructing the roof line!)

Building B: Back and North Side

Building B: Back and North Side

Building B: Front and South Side

Building B: Front and South Side

IMAG1859

Building A: Front and South Side

Building A: Front and South Side

My thanks to Erik from Reader Area Development for guessing the first strip mall before the revolution.  It made me smile as even though that was not the answer, a weekly farmer’s market is held very close to these buildings during the summer.  A lot of activity happens today near these buildings, but never really in these buildings as they have been vacant for years.  I don’t even think they are used for storage.

So what are these buildings?

These buildings are located in Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, RI.  Originally a large estate, the 489.2 Acre parcel of land was deeded to Rhode Island to be a state park in 1927.  The park opened in 1930.  The land included numerous estate buildings, including a mansion, a carriage house, large barn, and other ancillary buildings.  The mansion, built in 1876 was Victorian in style and consisted of 33 rooms.  Unfortunately, “the Oaks,” as it was known, burned down in April, 1975.  The original stables, so likely the barn or the carriage house, was also destroyed at some point (I think also by fire, or was it by the Hurricane of 1938).  New stables have since been built, offering park visitors the opportunity for trail rides, but one can still see the foundation of the old building close by.  You won’t see evidence of the mansion on the ground at surface level, the foundation was filled in and over and now it’s a green lawn, home of numerous Frisbee games, and games of fetch.

These buildings are among the smaller, unnamed buildings in every history of the estate I could find on the internet (Google wasn’t much of a help to me either, Erik), but there is a small pond near the two that you can see in one picture, which freezes over, which makes me wonder if one is an ice house given the close proximity.  So in truth, I don’t really know what the buildings truly are either, despite they’re buildings that I’ve like for years, but the above is the information I have, which I hope you found useful/insightful.

Thanks for reading!

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5 Responses to Followup Friday

  1. Erik says:

    Haha , dang! The mystery is part of the charm.

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  4. John Staba says:

    Hi, i grew up in potowomutt, (past Goddard Park, near end of Ives rd.) as a kid we often played by that mansion. I remember it so well, It was a beautiful old victorian, huge glass windows on the south side. Inside, while peeping through those windows, you could see a large grand piano, some old furniture and an old ornate black enclosed metal elevator, among other things. I remember thinking that must have been one of the first elevators ever built. One night my best friend & I were driving home from Pawtucket (about 20-25 or so miles away) late at night & off in the distance, south of us we saw a yellow glow in the sky we had never seen before. As we got closer to home it grew larger & larger till soon we realized it was a HUGE fire… somewhere near where we lived. When we got onto Ives Road we got caught up in the traffic of manybfire trucks till we all came to a stop at the entrance to Goddard Park where we saw that beautiful mansion fully engulfed in flames. We stopped the car and ran towards it but it was so hot we were stopped in our tracks. Firemen were trying to run hoses but couldnt get much water flowing. Over the next few hours we saw the mansion burn to the ground, it was so sad & something we will never forget.

    • John Staba says:

      ooops… spelling correction… that is: “Potowomut” (just the one T @ end) my Native American ancestors would have been disappointed had i not corrected that one 🙂

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