You are here

Providence & Worcester Railroad Station

-A A +A
1882, John W. Ellis. 242–246 Main St.
  • (HABS)

This building, now converted to offices, is the third train station on this site, the first having been built in 1844. Although it has been unfortunately remodeled at its west end, walking up High Street provides a less spoiled view of its Queen Anne design, as well as an elevated perspective on the curved Harris Warehouse below. The station's most notable feature is the light-weight curved and chamfered wooden brackets that arch well beyond the walls in a series of spoked struts and extend the roof into a parasol shelter. The low brick gable with spired clock cupola over the interior waiting room exemplifies late Victorian manipulation of commonplace materials for decorative purposes. Brick in various patterns combines with carved stone, ornamental terra-cotta and, in the windows, panes in geometric patterns of greenish opalescent glass. In its simultaneous appeal to practicality and fantasy, this mix of materials and treatment complements the roof bracketing below. A locomotive once graced the weathervane.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Providence & Worcester Railroad Station", [Woonsocket, 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, 236-237.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.