A weekend visit to Providence, Rhode Island, for a symposium on “Site and Stories: Mapping a Preservation Ecosystem,” could not go by without a visit to the Cranston Street Armory.
A massive and beautiful structure, a pile of tan bricks, built in 1907 for $650,000 designed with a sequence of crenellated turrets. It makes quite an impression.
Its location in the West End of Providence is sometimes called the “Armory District,” and there are many useful parallels to the Goffe Street Armory in New Haven. It was built as the headquarters for the 103rd Regiment, but was left essentially abandoned by 1990 when units were transferred to other armories. It is in need to repair, but large events are still sometimes held there and preservation groups in Providence are attempting to develop a plan for the building.
Like the Goffe Street Armory, the Providence Armory faces a park, though the connection can feel more visual than functional.