2019 RHODY AWARD WINNERS
Avis Block before
Avis Block after
Historic Preservation Project Award
The Coletta Group
The Coletta Group has thoughtfully restored commercial and residential spaces in the landmark
Avis Block (1851) in Wickford Village.
There’s a saying that “preservation is local,” and the restoration of Wickford’s Avis Block is a testament to the power of community. Named for its original owner, Avis Ann Smith, the Avis Block (1851) sits at an important intersection in Wickford Village and includes four commercial spaces and residential units above. After decades of deferred maintenance began to threaten this village landmark, it was acquired by a preservation-minded family working together as The Coletta Group. Led by art historian Natalie Coletta, the group worked with craftspeople based in Wickford and South County to restore the building’s historic storefronts and original window sash, rehabilitate unique roof dormers that suffered from long-term water damage, and repaint woodwork and trim in a historically-appropriate paint scheme. As of 2019, all commercial and residential tenants in the newly restored building are women, a legacy that would surely make
Avis Ann Smith proud.