Tours of 'Superman' building sell out; More planned

The so-called "Superman Building" will be open for public tours from July to September. The building has been vacant for three years. (WJAR)

The Art Deco skyscraper that defines the Providence skyline has historic touches that are found nowhere else. It harkens back to a time when Rhode Island was a financial powerhouse, rich with profits from textiles and finance.

The owners believe it's a property worth saving, said spokesman Bill Fischer.

"I think most Rhode Islanders want to see a repurpose of this historic building. Not unlike South Street Station, not unlike the Masonic Temple. There's a point where we need to lift up our historic character," Fischer told NBC 10 News.

Fischer conceded the building at 111 Westminster St., popularly called the Superman Building, will need public help to bring it back. But he suggested it will be a boon to the downtown, adding as many as 450 residents who will be customers for local businesses.

The ground floor is envisioned as a center for retail and restaurants. Fischer said that would be in keeping with the historic use of the banking hall, which, he said "was always a corridor for the general public to get from Kennedy Plaza to Westminster Street."

There are plenty of people who are hankering to see the inside of the building that is the central point of the capital city skyline, but the 200 slots for the initial round of tours were snapped up.

"In less than two hours those tours sold out. Regardless of the controversy we've been mired in the past few years, there is a cultural connection between Rhode Islanders and this building," Fischer said.

He said because of the demand that more tours will be arranged. To see when they will be held, check the Save Superman in RI website.

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