Upper Rockville Mill, Rhode Island

The interior finishes retain the historic character of the buildings.
The historic stone mill in Hopkinson, Rhode Island, known as the Upper Rockville Mill, dates back to the 1840s. It remained small in scale throughout its history and continued to use waterpower long after alternatives were available. A $4 million rehabilitation project, completed in 2012, converted this historic rope factory and auxiliary building to a new mixed-use of commercial and workforce housing for individuals and families. This rehabilitation resulted in the first affordable housing development for families in this rural section of the state.
The Greek Revival mill building was constructed in 1844 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.
Twelve residential units were created in the larger of the two granite buildings and two apartments, designed for disabled tenants, were developed in the smaller building. Tenants for these income-restricted rental apartments earn less than 50 percent of the area median income. An existing tenant, the Rockville post office, continues to occupy a part of the first floor of the main building, serving the surrounding community.

In an effort to qualify for the Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, special consideration was given to the preservation of the historic character and features of these two buildings including the clerestory monitor roof, wood clapboard gable ends in the larger building, painted wood columns and beams, painted wood ceiling and the painted plaster on the interior sides of the exterior walls. The scope of work also included the installation of new mechanicals, new energy efficient windows; a new septic system and a new well. In addition to the 20% federal tax credit, the project also received Rhode Island state historic tax credits (before the phase-out). Additional moneys were available through the Building Homes Rhode Island bond fund, the HOME program; a Community Development Block Grant; and lead program money as well as funds from private investors.

Last updated: October 13, 2017