Rudy Bruner Award | 30 Years of Urban Excellence



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The Steel Yard redeveloped a historic steel fabrication facility into a campus for arts education, job training, and small-scale manufacturing in Providence, Rhode Island. The 3.5-acre property in the city’s Industrial Valley required extensive environmental remediation to meet regulatory requirements while retaining the industrial urban character of the site. The Steel Yard offers classes, workforce training, and fabrication space for local artists, creating an industrial arts incubator where they can share ideas, materials, and space. It has become a center for creative activity, bridging the gap between the traditional arts community on the affluent east side of Providence with manufacturing businesses and the industrial, lower-income west side.

The $1.2 million development occupies the former site of the 100-year-old Providence Iron and Steel Company. The property was purchased by Rhode Island School of Design graudate Nicholas Bauta and Brown University graduate Clay Rockefeller who had participated in the redevelopment of the adjoining Monohasset Mill property into artist housing. Its design is a creative response to strict regulatory requirements and the Steel Yard’s commitment to utilizing the best sustainable practices possible, even within a tight budget. Numerous public events are held on the site, including classic car shows, movie nights, and weddings.

"An exemplary model of reuse and transformation that is built on the community’s local history and talent and preserves industrial history and culture in an authentic way." 2013 RBA Selection Committee

Publication Date



Bruner Foundation




Adaptive Reuse, Adaptive Preservation, Arts and Culture, Education, Empowerment, Environmental Remediation, Parks and Open Space, Sustainability, Architecture, alumni work


Architectural Engineering | Architecture | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Environmental Design | Historic Preservation and Conservation | Landscape Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning

The Steel Yard



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