Union Eyelet Company

564 Eddy Street, Providence RI


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Built In



This building was part of a complex of manufacturing buildings. The first building was constructed in 1873 for the Union Eyelet Company, a manufacturer of brass eyelets for clothing and shoes. George Boyden purchased the company in 1911 and converted it for the manufacture of knitted hosiery. Boyden had established a dry goods store on High Street (now Westminister) in 1875 and was a large stockholder in several local companies. By about 1930, the main building had been sold to Thurston Manufacturing, and the remainder of the complex was sold to Franklin Rayon Corp. Thurston Manufacturing was founded by Horace Thurston in 1883 at 419 Eddy Street. Thurston apprenticed at Corliss Steam Engine Co., was employed by Providence Tool Co., served as a foreman for Brown & Sharpe, and was a master mechanic for Cummer Engine of Ohio. They started as millers of cutting plates for jewelry businesses, and later expanded to produce precision cutting saws for all types of materials and industries. Excerpted from a Providence Journal article about the displaced businesses about the new I-195 The Providence Machine Company had quite a history, and had tenants up until its last days. It was on the list along with 35 other buildings the state planned to demolish in order to untangle the knot of blacktop that carries the highway across the Providence River. Those buildings were home to 80 businesses and six families. Mandell’s garage, India Point Auto Service & Repair, in the city’s Corliss Landing section, were also demolished, which was in a former fire station just east of the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier. Other buildings slated for demolition were Thurston Manufacturing, the Centerfolds topless club, parking lots owned by Rhode Island Hospital, a 136,000-barrel oil tank owned by U.S. Generating Company, Gerardo’s Alternative Nightclub and five houses on Crary, Globe and Manchester Streets. M. Bertram Forman and a business partner bought One Allens Ave in 1962, after it had been vacant for eight years. Forman built a new roof, installed new burners for a heating system and rewired the electricity. He put in fire alarms, three elevators and dozens of partitions. His building became home to 45 tenants, from photography studios and an art-framing store to a children’s acting workshop and a bar. “It’s got more ambience than you could ever believe,“ Forman said. “The molding, the doors and everything in this building – you don’t see them built like this anymore.” Source - Art in Ruins www.artinruins.com