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This simple, 2½-story home was constructed in 1854 and served for a time as the home of prominent artist Edward Bannister in the 1880s and 1890s. Bannister was the only black founder of the Providence Art Club and was a leader of the local art scene at the end of the nineteenth century. In the 1930s, the Reeves family bought and remodeled this structure to house their antique and decorative arts collection. Following its acquisition by Brown University in 1989, it was used for storage. The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society proposed the relocation of 93 Benevolent Street to Heritage Harbor Museum as part of its “Creative Survival” exhibit.

This unique home, originally a wood cottage, was clad in brick during the renovations undertaken by the Reeves family. The plan is one room wide; the living room, dining room and kitchen occupy the first floor while a stairway leads to two bedrooms on the second.  Due to a lack of plans for its use, PPS included it on the 2001 Most Endangered Properties list.

Status – SAVED: In 2015, Brown University restored the exterior of the house to its original condition, using photographic documentation to recreate lost features. Brown put the property into their Brown to Brown Home Ownership Program and installed a bronze marker on the house. The text reads: “Home of Christiana Carteaux Bannister and Edward Mitchell Bannister from 1884 to 1899, this property is closely associated with prominent members of Providence’s 19th-century African-American community.”

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© 2023 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.