Various buildings and uses occupied this site during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including margarine and tin-can manufacturing. From 1939 into the 1980s this was the home of Roitman’s, Providence’s premier furniture store. Its most interesting aspect is its current incarnation as the home of one of RISD’s outstanding departments (whose graduates include the designer of the Cuisinart), rehabilitated by James Barnes, an instructor in the nearby architecture school. Barnes’s design, an appropriate one given the building’s history and the students’ subject matter, has a nice hard edge to it, worth a quick detour on the inside.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture