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Westminster Street, circa 1950

Earle Building, Commercial Rehabilitation/Restoration Award

Constructed in 1895 by William H. Earle, the Earle Building at 56-70 Washington Street had stores on the street level and office space on the upper stories. A prominent downtown landmark, the building was altered and eventually neglected, resulting in severe deterioration, which obscured its original appearance. The building was purchased in 1999 by the Rhode Island Housing & Mortgage Finance Corporation who hired the architectural firm, Durkee, Brown, Viveiros and Werenfels to bring the building back to its original glory. Extensive in scope, the restoration required building stabilization, removal of inappropriate additions, restoration of the original exterior, and exterior lighting to accentuate the architectural detailing of the building and enhance the streetscape. The Earle Building has been selected for the successful rehabilitation of a prominent commercial building in downtown Providence. The rehabilitation and reuse of the building helps to preserve an important piece of the city’s urban fabric as well as advance revitalization efforts in the downtown area.