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This handsome temple-front Georgian Revival bank building, designed by local firm Clarke & Howe, stands on historically significant land at the intersection of Westminster and Cranston Streets. It is located on the site of the renowned Hoyle Tavern (built 1739, demolished 1890), which marked an important Native American and Colonial/Revolutionary gateway to the western Rhode Island and Connecticut commencing at Hoyle, also known as Canonicus, Square.

Citizens Savings Bank was chartered in 1871 and located nearby on Westminster Street—originally High Street in the West End, and renamed Westminster in 1893. The bank established its central headquarters at the structure seen today at 870 Westminster with a later annex building fronting Westminster to the west. Citizens Bank vacated the property in 2019, and the site drew immediate interest.

The existing buildings and adjacent lots are listed on the 2020 MEP list because current redevelopment plans do not pay deference to the importance of this landmark site nor treat the six parcels under common ownership holistically through a master plan. Additionally, the banking hall’s historic interior presents a difficult re-use challenge. PPS champions high-quality, contextual design and planning for this important site at the intersection of two principal West End corridors (Cranston and Westminster Streets). This once-in-a-century development opportunity demands greater creativity and deference than what has been proposed.

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