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Washington Street Commercial Buildings

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J. J. Newberry ( WW17.1; 1921), 37–43 Washington Street, is a classic 1920s dime store. Flamboyant brackets support an elegant decorated cornice of urns, leafy panels, and dentils as the culmination of the terra-cotta frame for the one-story stretch of shop windows with its familiar red and gold sign. The raised Roman letters, stretched out to squarish proportions, are among the classics of commercial lettering. Rarely does a store building of this type and quality exist in such mint condition. Two turn-of-the-century commercial buildings are worth looking at: the Alice Building ( WW17.2; c. 1898) and especially the pristinely preserved Donant-Archambault Building ( WW17.3; c. 1910), at 63–65, 64–74, and 115–119 Washington Street, respectively. Finally, at 268 Washington Street is the cadaver of a Texaco station which is derived from a pioneer prototype in enameled metal panels designed for “streamlined” modern gas stations by the prominent industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague ( WW17.4; 1930s).

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Washington Street Commercial Buildings", [West Warwick, 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, 331-331.

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