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Central RI Chamber Celebrates Start of Renovation for ‘Victorian Lady’

From left, Lauren Slocum, co-president of the Central RI Chamber, Leah Prata, co-chair of the renovation committee, Steve Kitchin of New England Tech, co-chair of the renovation committee, Mayor Scott Avedisian, Jason Bianco of Gilligan & Bianco LLC, Marisa Albanese of National Grid and Christine Wilson of Coastway Community Bank, also co-chairs. Behind them is the Victorian Lady, sporting a swath of what will be its new siding.
From left, Lauren Slocum, co-president of the Central RI Chamber, Leah Prata, co-chair of the renovation committee, Steve Kitchin of New England Tech, co-chair of the renovation committee, Mayor Scott Avedisian, Jason Bianco of Gilligan & Bianco LLC, Marisa Albanese of National Grid and Christine Wilson of Coastway Community Bank, also co-chairs. Behind them is the Victorian Lady, sporting a swath of what will be its new siding.

Warwick, RI — The Victorian Lady, the pink, pealing and aged four-story headquarters of the Central RI Chamber of Commerce at 3288 Post Road, will get started on a long-anticipated $200,000 update early next year.

“We need to restore the lady to her grandeur,” said Chamber President and CEO Lauren Slocum during Wednesday afternoon’s kickoff of the renovation plan,which has already secured $160,000 in pledges, according to Mayor Scott Avedisian’s office.

What color should the 'Victorian Lady' in Apponaug be? The Central RI Chamber of Commerce was looking for votes in 2014. CREDIT: Central RI Chamber of Commerce
What color should the ‘Victorian Lady’ in Apponaug be? The Central RI Chamber of Commerce was looking for votes in 2014. CREDIT: Central RI Chamber of Commerce

The restoration will include new siding, the restoration of a west-facing window currently blocked off, rebuilding the front stairway, repointing the brick, new windows, and heating and air conditioning improvements. In the business center next door, improvements will update the space to a modern conference and training room.

“We look forward to beginning the project no later than the first of the year,” Slocum said. The building permits are currently in progress across the street at Building Department in the City Hall Annex. The project is expected to wrap up by early summer 2016.

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The Chamber’s capital campaign for the project began in 2014 shortly after the Apponaug Circulator project broke ground. The restoration efforts go hand-in-hand with the current construction happening through the village, according to a release from the Mayor.

Standing in the heart of Warwick, the Victorian Lady is a pillar for the City’s entire business community. A true professional resource, the Chamber of Commerce is a legislative advocate for the business community; an accessible, friendly, helpful organization available to assist and help homebased, small and large businesses alike, according to the Mayor’s office.

“The Chamber of Commerce continues to be a great partner with the City of Warwick, and a great liaison to our business community,” Avedisian said.

Donations can still be made by calling the Chamber at 732-1100.

An artists conceptual drawing of the updated Victorian Lady, inside the building as Mayor Scott Avedisian and members of the Chamber discuss the project Dec. 16.
An artists conceptual drawing of the updated Victorian Lady, inside the building as Mayor Scott Avedisian and members of the Chamber discuss the project Dec. 16.