The Industrial Park


The Industrial Park


When and why was the industrial park built on the northwest edge of the pond? What did it replace?


Lizzy Landau


The Official Redevelopment Plan for Mashapaug Pond was approved on December 2, 1960 after several government studies deemed the area “blighted,” and recommended rezoning.

The 1950s were a period of decay in Providence. After World War II, American industry and infrastructure continued to develop and thrive but not in Providence. Industries relocated to the suburbs and other states, aided by the new interstate highway system. As a result, Providence saw a tremendous decrease in population. Emigration to the area did not just slow, it reversed: by the end of 1949 the population reached 257,000; in 1960 207,495; and in 1970 179,116. Between December 1952 and November of 1954, the total employment in Providence declined 7.8%; manufacturing declined almost 10%. [1]

The Federal Urban Renewal Project, administered by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, attempted to reverse the economic decline. They hoped to attract new industries, businesses and residents to the area by demolishing and rebuilding structures and zoning parking areas so the new areas would be more accessible to cars: “if Providence wishes to obtain more jobs to offset recent declines in employment and at the same time wishes to strengthen its tax base, it should consider seriously means for obtaining additional industrial plants.”[2]

[See attached files for more information, a map of proposed land use and the project area, as well as an article about industrial parks and photographs from the site].




Lizzy Landau, “The Industrial Park,” Reservoir of Memories, accessed September 23, 2020,