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Pawtucket Armory

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1894–1895, William R. Walker and Son. 172 Exchange St. (at Fountain St.)
  • (Photograph by David Schalliol)

This is one of four armories in Rhode Island designed by the same firm at the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the others are Westerly's, the Cranston Street Armory in Providence ( PR195) and (the smallest) Woonsocket's ( WO17). The symmetrical Providence building looms much larger, but a sloping site on a skewed city block presented subtler massing challenges in Pawtucket. Hence the slight differences in seemingly symmetrical towers at either end of the front elevation. One has a slightly larger diameter than the other, and comes to the ground at the low corner of the block toward the downtown; uphill, the one of smaller diameter is an oriel that emerges from the first story at the corner of the building. One is corpulent and relatively static, the other lean and more dynamic. A rough-faced, high granite base serves as an eminence from which a brick castle rises, as in Providence screening a free-span drill hall supported on metal arches.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Pawtucket Armory", [Pawtucket, 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, 145-145.

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