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St. Rocco's Church

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1951, Oreste Di Saia. 927 Atwood Ave.

St. Rocco's Church is the most effective monument in the area to the first appearance of Italian immigrants in the Rhode Island work force. Reputedly Italians first appeared in substantial numbers during the 1870s at the Upper Simmonsville Mill, brought there by B. F. Almy, a successor to James Simmons. The church “modernizes” traditional early Italian Renaissance brick churches with campanile, but seems also to have been affected by forms characteristic of Art Deco—as though resuming the style after the interruption of World War II. Inside, the space is quite grand, its arcaded aisles and flat, paneled ceiling articulated by simple geometry in a warm color palette. Its major attraction, however, is its unified program of stained glass in the “modern” manner by Guido Nincheri, in which the principal episodes are depicted in brilliant color surrounded by areas of clear glass comparable to those in St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church in Central Falls ( CF11).

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "St. Rocco's Church", [Johnston, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 175-175.

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