The Steel Yard Blog has posted some information on Pawtucket Rising, a documentary that profiles the rebirth of Pawtucket, RI, the birthplace of the American industrial revolution:
The documentary profiles the birth and evolution of Pawtucket’s arts district through adaptive reuse of empty century-old factory buildings as an engine of economic revival.
The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution grew in prominence and wealth during the manufacturing decades in the first half of the 20th Century. But decline in domestic manufacturing left numerous structurally sound but unwieldy brick giants abandoned and unused.
Although the film focuses on Pawtucket, its valuable message applies to urban cities anywhere. In fact, that’s how the film came to be, according to [filmmaker Jason] Caminiti. Interested in documenting the history and arts culture of his own adopted city of Fall River, the Newport, RI, native was told about Pawtucket by a friend. What Caminiti found in Pawtucket was a great story with a greater lesson: cities past their manufacturing prime can flourish and grow in new directions – if elected officials sincerely support the effort and collaborate with leaders in the community.
Update: Herb Weiss, Economic and Cultural Affairs Officer for Pawtucket, pointed us to his essay, The ABCs of Creating a Customer Friendly Arts District