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Union Trust: 1906

Union Trust: 1906

Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1906. "Union Trust building." This architectural equivalent of a dandy with a diamond stickpin practically screams "Look at me!" 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Arcade

A few doors down you see a column building. That is The Arcade; 3 floors of stores in a semi-open atmosphere. It is considered to be the first 'mall' in America. It is still open today. Very Greek Revival.

Stone, Carpenter & Willson

The designers were Stone, Carpenter & Willson, a local firm; the building went up in 1900-1901. It is an exuberant example of what was then called the "Modern French" style, now called Beaux-Arts Classicism. In the spandrel over the main entrance arch is a pair of high relief sculptures, "The Puritan and the Indian," by Daniel Chester French -- best known for the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.

Esthetically pleasing

A truly dazzling building, the attention to detail is amazing and yet in my opinion it is never garish. I wonder who the architects were?

Needs a little something

This reminds me of my niece when she was 5 yrs. old and got all dressed up for a summer family reunion cookout at her home. She had on a metallic sequined t-shirt over a pink puffy tutu, purple tights, red sparkly sandals, a kids diamond tiara, with matching oversize earrings, a vast handful of mardi gras beads around her neck and then stuck glow-in-the-dark flourescent stickers all over her arms. Like this building, she would not be ignored. (Today she is a very conservative home economics teacher.)

And it has windows that open

This architectural gem surely beats those Plain-Jane black glass high rises that are now de rigueur in most of our business districts.

Still there

At the corner of Westminster and Dorrance. It doesn't look to have changed very much. Those surrounds for the windows are bizarre, to say the least, and the less said about the top floor, the better.

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