Stone, Carpenter, & Willson


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Providence's first railroad station was Union Railroad Depot, a brick edifice built in 1847 and designed by Thomas A. Tefft for the Providence and Worcester, Providence and Stonington, and Boston and Providence Railroads. This building was lost to fire in 1896, and replaced by Union Station, completed 1898, which consisted of five large brick structures, built by New Haven Railroad. It was considered "a brilliant example of Romanesque architecture" in its time, and the longest building in America. As the city continued to grow, so too did the need for terminal space, ultimately resulting in the paving over of the remnants of the city's inland bay in 1890. Union Station was in the process of being redesigned for office and retail use when it suffered an upper stories fire on April 26, 1987. In this photograph, behind the fire-stricken but extinguished Union Station, is the newly built Providence Station with its two story parking garage and campanile.


Bibliography: Woodward, William McKenzie. PPS/AlAri Guide to Providence Architecture. Providence Preservation Society, 2003. pp. 104. Woodward, Wm McKenzie and Edward F. Sanderson. "Providence: A Citywide Survey of Historical Resources." Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1986, pp. 179-180.


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 Role


Recommended Citation

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


Union Station, downtown, railroad stations, aerials, Providence Station, Waterplace Park, Woonasquatucket River, river relocation, urban renewal, city planning, state house