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Shakespeare's Head Building, 1772

PPS offices are located in the building at 21 Meeting Street that has been known as “Shakespeare’s Head” since colonial times.  Also known as the John Carter House, the building is a square, three story one with a low hip roof, a center chimney, and a five-bay façade.  The name “Shakespeare’s Head” recalls the colonial era when the building was used as a print shop and post office by John Carter, who had trained with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.  His family lived upstairs.  The writing-related enterprises inside were advertised by a sign featuring the head of Shakespeare on a pole outside the building.    

John Carter built the house in 1772 and published the city’s first newspaper, The Providence Gazette, here until 1793.  His family continued to live in the house after the print shop and post office were moved to Market Square.