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Designed and built in a style more Scottish Baronial than the then-prevalent but delicately domestic and feminine Queen Anne, this brick-and-brownstone pile evokes the hubris of late nineteenth-century masculine exclusivity and entrepreneurialism. And well it should, for it was the ne-plus-ultra men’s club in Providence, though it now more democratically admits women as members, not just as acts of charity to spinster daughters or widows. But what a stalwart, unapologetic architectural expression it is, and thus worthy of our admiration. The too-large recent addition, designed by Laurence S. Walsh, has all of the original’s pomp but none of its circumstance. Despite or because of the collective accumulated wealth this building represents, the concept of a club called Hope, for those who already have so much good fortune, located at the corner of Benevolent and Benefit Streets, seems both ironic and appropriate in a place called Providence.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

© 2020 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved.
Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.