Governor Carcieri Celebrates Warren’s Cutler Mill Restoration, Cuts Ceremonial Ribbon

Michael Sigourney, the President and CEO of AVTECH, a high tech computer software firm, doesn’t do anything halfway. When he arrived from Connecticut, and was advised by Representative Peter Martin to “buy a building”, he bought an entire mill, a run-down, unrestored grouping of attached red brick spaces in Warren, Rhode Island.

 

In an indoor/outdoor ceremony attended by Governor & Mrs. Carcieri, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, State Senators Walter S. Felag. Jr., Peter Martin, and Loughlin, David Bates, David Freewick of the Warren Town Council, and Anne Sigourney, Mr. Sigourney’s wife, a celebration of the restoration of the building, and its new uses for the future, was held this fall. The Mill now houses AVTECH Corporation, The East Bay Chamber of Commerce, The Brass, a soaring and textural shop carrying items made by developmentally disadvantaged artisans, and smaller professional offices. The building has has been nominated for a listing on the National Historic Register as a prime example of a steam-powered mill oriented to rail transportation.

 

Alan Crisman of Avtech & Lt. Governor

Elizabeth Roberts

Over 400 people attended a festive buffet and tour of the re-imagined space and offices of Cutler Mill, which, Mr. Sigourney says is energy efficient, and heading for a green designation. The dinner was catered was by The Market, a store and deli in the Cutler Mill complex, which Mr. Sigourney liked, and purchased.

 

The history of the Mill is worth noting as a parable of changing business practices  in Rhode Island, and the Northeast. In 1868, Charles Russell Cutler built Cutler Mill to house Cutler Manufacturing, which produced both double and twisted yarns. Cutler Mill is a red brick, 3-story gabled roof, early Victorian mill with a four and a half story tower. Located near the train depot, it flourished. In 1881, Cutler Manufacturing expanded by building Cutler Mill South (located right next door) for the purpose of expanding textile production.

 

Michael Sigourney cuts the ribbon, aided

by Governor Donald Carcieri

In 1908, Cutler Manufacturing shut its doors due to a significant downturn in the textile industry. During their 40 years, they were a valued participant within the community and one of the largest employers in Bristol County.


After Cutler Manufacturing closed, the mill remained idle for many years. About 1920, the mill was revived when the Mount Hope Spinning Company and Manhassett Manufacturing Company began producing textiles there. It then became a car dealership in the late 1930’s.

 

Over the next decades, Cutler Mill remained under-utilized and slowly lost value as weather and disrepair took their toll on the property. Then in 2002, the mill was purchased by David Wescott, co-owner of the neighboring 30 Cutler Street, and significantly upgraded to code.

 

The interior second floor hallway

 

 

In December of 2008, the Cutler Mill property was purchased by Mr. Sigourney to house AVTECH Software, Inc. Work began immediately to completely restore and renovate the property with respect to its historic past, and in a way that blended comfortably with the historic and artistic aspects of Warren. The interior spaces are meticulously restored, with wide hallways and conference rooms the beautiful woods showing in the flooring. The primary work was completed in September.

 

 

The history of the historic Cutler Mill

 

The Brass, an unusual outlet for handmade goods

Michael Sigourney greets Governor & Mrs. Carcieri

Elizabeth Roberts, Sue & Governor Carcieri,

Michael & Mrs. Sigourney, and official

The Market on the grounds serves savory foods

The Governor conferring with Mr. Sigourney

East Bay Chamber of Commerce. a tenant

of Cutler Mills

Congratulations on a job well done!

The crowd after the ribbon cutting

 

An old photograph of the Mill c. 1920

 

Offices off the central corridor

 

Historic elements were kept intact whenever possible

 

A conference room

 

The interior display wall at The Brass, featuring

original brick walls

 

 A lounge area on the second floor

 

A comfortable Victorian-style meeting room

 

Victorian suite on the second floor

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