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Bell Street Chapel

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1875, William R. Walker. 5 Bell St.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)

At the end of one-block Bell Street is the anomaly of the classical brick and brownstone Bell Street Chapel. Surprisingly both for its time and its architect, who more typically designed in High Victorian styles, it features the portico of the Roman Temple of Nîmes (A.D. 212) elevated on a rusticated ground-floor base. Originally the chapel sat at the entrance to James Eddy's estate, Pine Grove (the entrance turnaround for the demolished house and the pines are still extant behind the chapel). Eddy, an art dealer, erected the chapel for a nondogmatic, liberal congregation (and doubtless requested that it be modeled on the Temple of Nîmes). The interior (most unclassical) still retains its plain, round-arched Victorian flavor, with landscape paintings intended as revelations of divine emanation as much as works of art. Eddy's collection of rocks and minerals, in the front hall to the chapel, was meant to work to the same end. Now used by a Unitarian Universalist congregation, the temple is still a venue for exhibitions by local artists, as Eddy would have wished.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Bell Street Chapel", [Providence, 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, 130-130.

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