This was built to house the woman’s college at Brown – Pembroke named for Rhode Island founder Roger William’s college at Cambridge. The college’s creation was sponsored by the Rhode Island Society for the Collegiate Education of Women, led by prominent nineteenth-century feminists Sarah Elizabeth Doyle (1830-1922) and Elizabeth Buffum Chace (1806-1899). Women were first admitted to Brown in 1892 and attended classes in an old school (demolished in 1924) on Benefit Street before this was completed. Stone, Carpenter & Willson’s design for Pembroke Hall alludes to the sixteenth-century English academic buildings familiar to Williams from his university days. It originally included classrooms, offices, and the library, which was on the top floor. Pembroke and Brown completely merged in 1970.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture