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Then and Now… Rumford in history and today

Rumford Center began in 1856 as Rumford Chemical Works, producing and shipping baking powder across the nation and around the world. At its height of activity around the turn of the century, Rumford Chemical included 300 acres of working farms and communities to sustain the factory workers, and the Village of Rumford was called the “kitchen capital of the world.” Since closing in 1968, 1968, the factory buildings have fallen into disrepair.

Purchased in 2006 by PK Rumford LLC, the old Chemical Works is getting a new life. The remaining factory buildings occupy 8.3 acres and will accommodate apartments, condominiums, office space, retail shops, a restaurant and café on the square. The original 1858 factory building, the only building that will be physically moved during construction, will now host a new generation of business innovators.

Rumford Center will bring new vitality to the historic Rumford neighborhood. More than just another development, Rumford Center will be an economic, historical and cultural engine to revitalize the village.

Designated a National Chemical Historic Landmark in June, 2006, Rumford Center will celebrate its heritage in visual and cultural displays that will lead the way for further sensitive evolution for the town, the city of East Providence, and beyond.

Want to learn more about the history of Rumford Center and its celebrated Baking Powder? Visit the wonderful East Providence Historical Society museum (, or return to this website in the near future for historic photos and a timeline.