Chester Smolski
Walker and Gould


image preview




Pictured on the left, the Equitable Building features a locally cast iron "Venetian" facade that is the best preserved of the few cast-iron facades in the city. The facade was cast by the Builders Iron Foundry. The design of the building incorporates the Victorian custom of splitting the street-level tenants in half - a shop on the ground-level and the principle business a floor up. At the right, is the Wilcox building. It's L-shaped floor plan wraps around the neighboring Equitable building, giving it facades on both Weybosset and Custom House Streets. It is one of the city's first commercial office buildings that was built in the the polychromatic High Victorian Gothic Style. In 1975 the interior of the building was destroyed by fire. The ensuing restoration helped restore community concern to downtown preservation.


Bibliography: Jordy, William H, Ronald J. Onorato, and William M. K. Woodward. Buildings of Rhode Island. Oxford: New York, 2004, pp. 48-49.


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.

Creator 2 Dates


Creator 2 Role

Architect, Wilcox Building

Creator 3 Dates


Creator 3 Role

Architect, Equitable Building

Building Type


Building Style

Renaissance Revival


City Beautiful

Subject Headings

Architecture, Victorian -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Historic buildings -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Downtown districts -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Facades

Country Name

United States

Region Name

Rhode Island

City Name


Street Address

42 Weybosset St


architecture, Victorian, downtown, street scene, architecture, architecture, renaissance revival, cast-iron facade, federal building, customhouse, commercial streets, downtown restoration