Chester Smolski


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Home to the Davol Rubber Co. from 1884 until 1977, the Davol Square complex was rehabilitated and reopened for mixed retail and office use in 1982, with shops, offices, and restaurants. However, despite high occupancy and easy highway access, the shops slowly disappeared and the mall closed down in 1991. Davol Square was Providence’s first attempt of converting factory space into retail/office use based on the model of San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square (1962) and was meant to rival Boston’s Quincy Marketplace/Faneuil Hall which had been revitalized in the late 1970s. The most original aspect of the complex is the overhead glazing of an alley between three- and four-story buildings which had created the core shopping arcade.


Bibliography: Woodward, William McKenzie. PPS/AlAri Guide to Providence Architecture. Providence, RI: Providence Preservation Society, 2003, pp. 123-124. Woodward, Wm McKenzie and Edward F. Sanderson. "Providence: A Citywide Survey of Historical Resources." Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1986, pp. 212.


This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Recommended Citation

Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, MSS-0041, Special Collections, James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College.


shopping malls, shops, retail, Providence, RI