VIRTUAL VALLEY TALKS: Making the French Connection: Industrial Architectural Heritages of Woonsocket, Roubaix, and Tourcoing

  • January 7, 2024 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Eastern Standard Time

Ticket Price Free This event is now over



At the turn of the 20th century, Woonsocket, RI became the American city where several French and Belgian textile companies expanded their operations. A combination of economic, labor, and cultural conditions made Woonsocket a perfect American fit for these booming industries. In Making The French Connection, architect Jonathan Bell will look at the legacies of Woonsocket's counterparts in northern France, and the architectural heritage of these former mill complexes.


Jonathan Bell, AIA LEED-AP, is an architect and educator in Providence, where he is principal at Jonathan F. Bell, Architect, and teaches in RISD’s Interior Architecture department. Bell was the 2021 Fellow of the Richard Morris Hunt Prize, which enables an American architect to spend six months in France researching a topic related to historic preservation practice. Bell’s project centers on the preservation and reuse of industrial architecture in France, including the legacy of the textile industry in the Hauts-de-France region, from which Making the French Connection is drawn.


Valley Talks are presented by Amica Insurance with additional support from the Museum of Work & Culture Preservation Foundation and the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.

Date & Time

Sun, Jan 7, 2024 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Rhode Island Historical Society

The Rhode Island Historical Society, the state's oldest and only statewide historical organization, is dedicated to honoring, interpreting and sharing Rhode Island's past to enrich the present and inspire the future. Founded in 1822, the RIHS is an advocate for history as a means to develop empathy and 21st  -century skills, using its historical materials and knowledge to explore topics of timeless relevance and public interest. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, it is dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible public programming and educational opportunities for all Rhode Islanders through its four sites: the John Brown House Museum, the Museum of Work & Culture, the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center and the Aldrich House.