SAHARA Highlights: Providence

by Jacqueline Spafford and Jeffrey Klee, SAHARA Co-Editors | Jun 05, 2019

In honor of the host city for the most recent SAH conference, this month’s images from SAHARA are all from Providence, Rhode Island. The region’s architectural richness was an important feature of the most recent meeting, with tours throughout the city and the wider region, from Newport to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. A few SAHARA contributors have already submitted images from the 2019 tours, while others, some taken decades ago, depict buildings that have since been altered or relocated. The concentration of images illustrating buildings from the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries reflects the city’s two principal periods of commercial prosperity, but Providence is represented in SAHARA with structures from the late colonial period to the present.

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56-50 Benefit Street, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, c. 1785-1850. Photograph by Dell Upton, 1978.

Joseph Brown, First Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island, 1774-1775. The spire is based on one of three alternate designs for that of Saint Martin's-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, London, published in James Gibbs’ 1728 Book of Architecture. Photograph by Robert Emlen.

Russell Warren and James C. Bucklin, The Arcade, Providence, Rhode Island, 1828. Photograph by Mark Hinchman, 2019.

Edmund R. Willson, and Sydney Richmond Burleigh, Fleur-de-Lys Studio, Providence, Rhode Island, 1885: detail of hardware. Photograph by Robert Emlen.

John Meade Howells and I. N. Phelps Stokes, Turks Head Building, 7-17 Weybosset Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 1913. Photograph by Jeffrey Klee, 2004.

Walker and Gillette, Bank of America Building, 111 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 1928. Photograph by Mark Hinchman, 2019.

Percival Goodman, Temple Beth El from Orchard Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island, 1951-54. Photograph by William Morgan, 2003.

Ira Rakatansky, Zitserman House, Providence, Rhode Island, 1958. This is one of several houses erected as part of an effort to attract the 1940 Olympic Games to Providence. Photograph by Dustin Valen, 2019.

Philip Johnson, Computing Laboratory, Brown University (now part of Applied Mathematics Division), Providence, Rhode Island, 1961. Photograph by Richard Guy Wilson.

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
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Chicago, Illinois 60610