Debra Thomson
McKim, Mead & White


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Work on the Rhode Island State House began in 1892, the design being awarded to McKim, Mead & White, whose design won a "competition," in which several different designs for the new state capitol were contenders. Prior to the completion of the present day State House, Rhode Island used a rotation system in which the governor and legislature would move between different state houses, at one time including as many as five. By the later half of the 19th century, only the Old Providence and the Newport State House's were employed in this system. This view, taken from the Francis and Gaspee Street perspective, clearly presents McKim, & Mead & Whites "American Renaissance" design, which incorporated Renaissance and Classical design elements in rejection of Victorian era designs, which McKim felt were gaudy and whose ornamentation he felt was idiosyncratic.


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Building Style


Country Name

United States

Region Name

Rhode Island

City Name


Street Address

90 Smith Street


state capitol; State House; renaissance; classical; neoclassical; neoclassical; mckim, mead & white; dome; architecture;