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This pleasant if somewhat thin and overly digested interpretation of Gothic sources was designed by next-door neighbor Clifton Hall, and its architecturally quality reflects Hall’s lack of immediate familiarity with his source material. The wall surfaces are flat, and the massing is timid, but the siting, at the corner of Bridgham Street, enhances its presence. Hall got good mileage out of this design because an almost identical church by him was built about the same time in Richmond, Virginia. The parish house from 1915, designed by George W. Kramer of New York, was part of a much more ambitious program that included replacing this house of worship with a large stone edifice; cost limitations dictated eliminating the new sanctuary altogether and switching from stone to brick, which limited the detail of the parish house. The intersection was officially named Trinity Square in 1875. In the 1960s this complex became the first home to Trinity Square Repertory Company (3.21), Providence’s nationally acclaimed theatrical troupe.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

Since it was built in 1865, the Gothic Revival-styled Trinity United Methodist Church has been a mainstay in the Elmwood neighborhood. The architect, parishioner Clifton A. Hall, patterned the simple brick structure after a blend of English Gothic parish church styles with some Romanesque influences. The building features a massive corner tower with a wood frame spire. The tower especially reveals the architect’s varied influences; whereas the angled buttresses of the base adhere to prevailing English Gothic fashion, the octagonal drum beneath the slender spire reflects Romanesque tendencies. Despite plans in the early twentieth century to expand the church into a larger complex, financial constraints limited proposed additions to the red brick parish house designed by leading architect George W. Kramer in 1915. In 1949, Arland A. Dirlam of Boston redesigned the chancel with Gothic furnishings. The Trinity parish-house auditorium would later gain fame as the birthplace of the Trinity Square Repertory Company, founded there in 1964.

In 1995, when PPS included it on the Most Endangered Properties list, limited financial resources and a dwindling congregation had led the continued deferral of maintenance to the historic church. As of February, 2019, the building appears to be stable, though no new information is available.

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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.