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In lining the south side of this megablock, Brown began to turn away from the inward-facing hauteur of the other buildings near this. Davis & Brody’s Geo-Chem Building attempts contextualism through the use of red-brick cladding and the traditional gable roof found in the Georgian Revival houses facing it on the south side of George Street. The form is fine but the scale is still a little overwhelming. Koetter, Kim & Associates’ MacMillian Hall, on the block’s southwest corner, was even more contextually obliging in simulating the massing of the Queen Anne house and tall residence hall that it replaces, and it further surpasses Geo-Chem in detail and massing. It’s the better of the two, but it got off even easier because by the time of its construction its context to the east, north, west and southwest was already institutional in both scale and use.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

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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.