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Turk's Head Building

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1913, Howells and Stokes. 17 Weybosset St.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Patricia Lynette Searl)
  • (Photograph by Infrogmation, CC BY 2.5)

The Turk's Head Building, erected by the Brown family as an investment property, is a squat version of Daniel Burnham's recently completed Flatiron Building (1902) in New York, although the angle here is less acute and the wall treatment less florid. Like the New York building, this uses its wedge-shaped corner site to dramatic advantage, interacting dynamically with the taller, boxier competition nearby. Originally, when it was the tallest building downtown, its seventeen stories served as a prow for the entire business district to a viewer descending into it from College Hill. A ship's figurehead located on a former building at the site was a landmark in this vicinity, as commemorated by the effigy at the prow of the Turk's Head Building's three-story base.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Turk's Head 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, 49-49.

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