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Federal Building

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1906–1908, Clarke and Howe, with Harvey Wiley Corbett as consultant designer. 25 Kennedy Plaza
  • Providence
  • America

A fitting pendant to City Hall at the opposite end of the mall ( PR4), the gray granite Federal Building, built to hold the U.S. District Court and Customs Service, complements its predecessor in mass and scale. It is as telling an expression of attitudes toward civic architecture in 1908 as was City Hall in the mid-1870s. As a pair they illustrate the influence of French design on American architecture, from City Hall's Second Empire to the Federal Building's academic classicism, derived from Ecole des Beaux-Arts architectural training at the turn of the century. Despite interior renovations, the courtrooms remain intact, one overlooking the plaza with a stained glass window. Flanking the entrance are monumental seated female figures by John Massey Rhind: Providence on the left, America on the right.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Federal Building", [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, 37-37.

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