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Oakland Assembly, Recreation, and Market Hall

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1898. 1422 Victory Hwy.

This brick recreation hall for community functions, with store space below, was the Wanskuck Company's most conspicuous benefaction to Oakland. Its precedent appears to have been the colonial brick box for meeting hall and town offices atop an arcaded, open-air market such as the Brick Market in Newport and the Market House in Providence ( NE8 and PR54), but here the ground-level arching of ancient market buildings is raised and enlarged as windows for a two-story hall. To the market house precedent, moreover, a stair and gabled entrance vestibule have been appended toward the road with something of a baroque flourish, as though the owners meant to go beyond providing mere access to the hall, so that this overstated approach would also advertise the cohesiveness of the village and make visible the patriarchal largesse from which all blessings flowed. At the top of the climb, the entrance arch with its extravagance of radiating voussoirs seems to allude to such bristling displays of stone against brick as the provincial William and Mary detailing of Newport's Colony House. This entrance dramatizes the arching of the tall auditorium windows behind, these more modestly trimmed in stone and recessed between piers. Off each pier scroll brackets support the flared eaves of the hipped roof. The mix of modesty and pretension which this building somewhat awkwardly displays in its engagement of colonial precedent makes it among the most expressive of community buildings in Rhode Island's mill villages.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "Oakland Assembly, Recreation, and Market Hall", [Burrillville, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-BU10.

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