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Main Street

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Warren Town Hall, at the civic center of the village, and, half a block farther, the crossing of Joyce and State streets, are pretty much the heart of Warren's Main Street. Small-town Main Street as it was known during the first half of the twentieth century has become a rarity in Rhode Island. Warren's Main Street is not remarkable for its buildings, nor have most recent remodelings and replacements improved the situation. But it does have the right degree of dignity for a civic core. Commercial buildings still close ranks against the sidewalks, as yet little interrupted by gaps from parking lots and strip commercial ventures. Above all, it is a bustling place—an irritating bottleneck, to be sure (although Water Street offers a bypass). It is worth the architectural pilgrim's while insofar as much of its late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century aspect remains, awaiting relatively modest restoration toward the state revealed in old photographs; not, one would hope, as a faked tourist attraction, but as a reinforcement of Warren's identity (to which the tourist may be attracted for this very reason).

At 476–488 Main (the Joyce Street–State Street intersection) is the clapboarded Queen Anne style Tavares Building (c. 1895), its upper stories once given over to the Goff Hotel. On the same corner, at number 496, is an early Victorian two-story house (c. 1870), raised a story for the shop long occupied by Delekta's Pharmacy, which retains its original soda fountain stretched along a gray marble counter.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Main Street", [Warren, 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, 460-460.

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