Hailed as the first tall, steel-frame, “fireproof” building in Providence, the ten-and-one-half-story granite-sheathed Banigan Building was built on speculation by Joseph Banigan, founder of a large plant for rubber goods in Woonsocket and eventually also one of the founders of U.S. Rubber when his company went into the giant conglomerate. The layered vertical organization of its Neo-Renaissance exterior is typical of office buildings at the turn of the twentieth century. The rusticated base of the building shows the measurements of downtown flooding from Narragansett Bay in the “great” hurricanes of September 21, 1938 (the worst), and August 31, 1954 (merely horrendous).
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