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Market Square, Rhode Island School of Design (Market House)

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Market House
1773, Joseph Brown; 1797; 1865, James C. Bucklin; 1930s, 1950, John Hutchins Cady; subsequent interior remodeling. Market Sq.
  • (Photograph by Andrew Hope)
  • (Photograph by Marcbela)

Opposite the foot of the RISD complex and fronting the Providence River, where sailing ships could tie up close by, is this modest adaptation of Peter Harrison's slightly earlier Brick Market in Newport ( NE8). The Market House is one of several architectural monuments that signaled the ascendancy of Providence as a commercial center. Originally a two-story building with an open arcade on the first story, it was used by vendors below and town officials above. A third story, added in 1797, housed the state's first Masonic hall. This later served as city hall until the completion of the present Providence City Hall ( PR4) and then as the Board of Trade. The interior has been completely reworked several times since the 1930s for various RISD programs. Market Square demarcates South from North Main Street.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Market Square, Rhode Island School of Design (Market House)", [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, 65-65.

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