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Rosedale Apartments

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1939. 1180 Narragansett Blvd.

Among the few Art Deco–inspired buildings in the state, Rosedale Apartments is also among the last in the mode. In what was then a suburban area with relatively few apartment houses, and these mostly small, the Rosedale is remarkable for the extent of its U-shaped mass. Its Art Deco flourishes are sparsely if strategically distributed against the spartan expanse of its speckled chalk-white brick walls with unadorned windows. Presumably, its developer meant to recall the sophistication of movie-Miami modernity as economically as possible. The principal entrance is surmounted by a stainless steel canopy and a glass brick oriel. Minimally patterned brick on two window bays in front, with additional stainless steel canopies over some exits onto the rear lawn. Commandingly sited overlooking the upper reach of Narragansett Bay, it replaced a large house similar to others that once lined this artery. It typifies the deluxe quasi-hotel/apartment house of its period, which tended (originally at least) to be an isolated exception to its elitist suburban surroundings. Designed to attract older people, bachelors, cosmopolites, and any others who preferred not to mow the lawn, the Rosedale contributes to the period quality of the suburban image of Edgewood and to its viability as the kind of community it is. As a type, the building anticipates the present plethora of condominiums and “lifetime care” alternatives to the suburban house.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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