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Built just at the time Downtown Providence’s Biltmore Hotel was shutting its doors and expanded before the Biltmore reopened, this several-hundred-room hotel is a sprawling one- through seven-story brick-clad, reinforced-concrete complex. Fortunately for the city, the sloping site does not allow the solution of a simple large-box (or boxes), and the architects, Py-Vavra of Minneapolis, responded somewhat to the site in the way they fragmented the massing. What is unfortunate is the seeming necessity to reveal the availability of ample parking by displaying it at the perimeter of the site. How much more urbane and ultimately better the intersection of Charles and Orms Streets would have been had the building at least held the street line of the intersection’s northwest corner to engage in a dialogue with Warner’s handsome housing row across the street. The two complexes share fragmentation of massing, both effectively in their own ways, but that would be more readily apparent and much more lively visually were they in closer proximity.

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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.