Remarkable as it may seem today, this now-rare brownstone building was the city’s tallest for more than two decades after its construction. In creating it, architects Clifton Hall and Alpheus Morse vertically stretched the limits of the Italian Renaissance palace form about as far as was visually and technically possible in the mid-nineteenth century. Not surprisingly, this was Providence’s first building retrofitted with an elevator, in the early 1870’s. Size and use set a precedent for the construction of subsequent tall buildings housing financial institutions around the radiating intersection of Exchange, Westminster, and Weybosset Streets. This was one of the many small banks built Downtown throughout the nineteenth century; mergers and acquisitions in the twentieth century reduced the number of banks to a handful, and no banking has been done in this building for many years.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture