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Philip D. Creer, professor of architecture at RISD, originally essayed a fascinating cubist confection for this project, very much in the manner of contemporary Dutch and German Modernism. Shot down by the school, he was forced to assume the mantle of Jackson, Robertson & Adams in continuing the red-brick Georgian tradition of RISD buildings. The result is too bad for both RISD and Providence, because this late and somewhat dry interpretation falls short of the vigor of either his original concept or the College Building. The large amount of blank wall, especially at street level on two of three principal elevations, and the awkwardness of the overall massing starkly contrast with the suave nature of the RISD buildings that immediately preceded it. The Institutional Moderne interior, however, is blandly pleasant, notable both as a rare instance of a Moderne interior in Providence and for its preservation, largely unaltered but recently, sumptuously, and appropriately redecorated.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

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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.