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Union Trust Company Building

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1900–1901 and later, Stone, Carpenter and Willson, interior by Clarence Luce. 1981, restoration. 62 Dorrance St. (at Westminster St.)

For this twelve-story business block in limestone and red brick, the first skyscraper in Providence to use the classical base-shaft-capital organization for tall buildings, Stone, Carpenter and Willson ventured into Neo-Georgian with some French Rococo touches. Like the same firm's Union Station ( PR6), this also features a triumphal arch as an entrance motif through the rusticated lower floors. Indian and Puritan, reclining figures by Daniel Chester French, cap the portal, giving a new iconography to Michelangelo's Medici Chapel figures Night and Day. But it is the tall screen of rococoinspired windows, each with a stained glass medallion of one of the great international banking firms through history, which catches the eye both outside and in. The glitter of the emblems enhanced Clarence Luce's use of a variety of colored marbles in the banking hall, all nicely restored except for the elimination of tellers' cages and some changes of wall color. Luce probably garnered this commission from a number of designs for Newport houses. Marsden J. Perry, the president of Union Trust Company, who commissioned this building, gave other significant commissions to its principal architects.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "Union Trust Company Building", [Providence, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-PR29.

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 51-51.

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