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This raffish enamel-panel-façade, one-story commercial building is a Federal Hill landmark. For many years it was the vending-machine-headquarters front for the head of organized crime in southern New England, Raymond L.S. Patriarca. Patriarca was one of Providence’s most colorful mid-twentieth-century figures, especially in his later years, as legal pursuits came closer and closer to netting him. Patriarca himself escaped imprisonment, but his namesake son, known to everyone simply as “Junior,” was not so lucky. The use of his building today as a tattoo-and-piercing parlor perpetuates the ongoing presence of a deliciously louche quality on the street.

— 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

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© 2024 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.