Mashapaug Commons Plaza


Mashapaug Commons Plaza


When and why was the Mashapaug Commons plaza built? What did it replace? What businesses have occupied this plaza?


Maria Quintero


Currently the Mashapaug Commons Plaza is a retail complex that appears to be, for the most part, vacant. The Mashapaug Commons plaza was built as the “first part of the [former Gorham Manufacturing Company] site to be remediated and developed” in 2001.

The Mashapaug Commons plaza is located on what was once made up the largest portion of the Gorham Manufacturing Company site, where the main production was related to silver. Gorham Manufacturing Company shut down it's Providence, Rhode Island facilities in 1985 under the ownership of conglomerate Textron Incorporated. After being long abandoned the land of the former Gorham Manufacturing Company site was titled over to the City of Providence in 1991 as part of a tax estate sale. It was by the Providence Redevelopment Agency determined that it was “in the public interest and necessary for the public use are that such real property or interest therein is included in the redevelopment of plat of land condemned for the Gorham Project approved under the provisions of said 'Redevelopment Act of 1956' by the City Council of the City of Providence.” With this resolution towards improving the property the former Gorham Manufacturing Company began to undergo demolition in 1998. The construction of a retail complex falls under the various acceptable types of redevelopment that the City of Providence could allow that would be defined as construction for the public interest. Furthermore Textron had become responsible for cleaning up the site up to industrial and commercial standards, which are somewhat lower than those of other “public interest” redevelopment.

{See attached file for more information and bibliography]




Maria Quintero, “Mashapaug Commons Plaza,” Reservoir of Memories, accessed September 23, 2020,