Modernism and Recent Past in Providence: A Self Guided Walking Tour

When I lived in Providence, I spent countless hours working on my landscape architecture studio classes at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) that I barely noticed the buildings around me. I ate, breathed and dreamed landscape architecture.  Although I dropped out of RISD for personal reasons, I cherished the short time I spent working with the excellent faculty and classmates in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Last weekend, I retraced my steps around the Brown University and RISD campuses to experience once again, the architecture I had almost forgotten. On this day trip to Providence I went on a self guided walking tour of Modernist and Recent Past architecture created by Sara Emmenecker, a Public Humanities Graduate student at Brown University. I’m fascinated with the study of Modernism and love learning about and exploring modern architectural resources in New England. To learn more about this wonderful project created by Sara click here and head to Providence and explore the city’s modern architectural resources.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Todd Larson says:

    A great Modernist slideshow! My favorites are the Old Stone Tower, because it’s hard to believe it was by the folks who brought us the Empire State Building (and the restoration of New York’s City Hall), and the Beneficient House, because that’s one of Rudolph’s funkier, more creative works. Some of those buildings have aged remarkably well and are worthy of modernist preservation.

    1. Anulfo says:

      Thanks for your comment Todd. I have to agree with you, the Rudolph building really took me by surprise! I loved the funkiness and almost violet color of the bricks contrasting with the “belt courses.” Quite an amazing Modern building.

  2. paulglassman says:

    A fine compilation of overlooked buildings! I was searching for information on the modern building on South Main Street. If you learn who the architects were, please do post that information.

    There are numerous notable modern houses in a city not known for its modernism. In my view one of the best is the Philip Dorenbaum House (1939) at 65 Intervale Road. I’m very curious to learn more about it. It has been published, but I can no longer locate the publication.

    1. Anulfo says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment. This post was based on a walking tour organized by the Providence Recent Past Preservation Network. You can contact them to see if they have any other information or you can consult the AIA Guide to Providence Architecture, a fantastic guide (although I can’t recall if the building you are inquiring about is in the guide).

    2. Anulfo says:

      Also, Providence has some great house by architect Ira Rakatansky. Check out the new monograph Ira Rakatansky: As Modern As Tomorrow.

  3. beachcomberT says:

    Glad that your slide show included the Fogarty building, which apparently will soon become dust. A Providence Journal headline today says the building is slated to be torn down and be replaced by — hold your breath — a parking lot!

    1. Anulfo says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. I have found the article you mention in your comment and have posted it on Twitter.

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