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Exchange Bank Building

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1888, Stone, Carpenter and Willson. 59 Westminster St.
  • (Photograph by Patricia Lynette Searl)
  • (Photograph by David Schalliol)

A rare local commercial essay in the Queen Anne mode, the Exchange Bank has a fussy, bay-windowed exterior that fragments the mass and makes the building appear as a series of overblown late nineteenth-century china cabinets stacked one on another. Nonetheless, its whimsical charm ensured its rehabilitation as part of the Fleet Center complex ( PR3), to which it is connected on its west side. It beautifully demonstrates the virtue of small buildings among tall ones in giving light, air, and (especially where the building is as delightfully detailed as this) human scale to the adjoining spaces of the street hub and the rectangular plaza of the skyscraper across the way.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Exchange Bank 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, 49-50.

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