Two small late nineteenth-century commercial blocks are all that remain of the fashionable shopping district on North Main Street, known as Cheapside, just beyond Market House. Hope Block illustrates the adaption of the fashionable French roof for commercial use, especially appropriate for connoting style in the immediate post-Civil War era. Cheapside, designed by Stone & Carpenter, took its name from the area in which it was built; by the time of its completion, however, the area had lost much of its cachet, and early tenants included a teacher, a janitor, a counselor, and several cotton brokers. Both buildings were rehabilitated by Rhode Island School of Design in the mid-1980s.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture