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Built in 1907 as the home of the Rhode Island National Guard, the Cranston Street Armory is massive -- 165,000 square feet of space, with a central hall the size of two football fields. Throughout its 90 years, the armory has hosted civic functions for the entire state, including everything from the circuses and track meets to gubernatorial galas and charity events. The National Guard vacated the armory for economic reasons in 1996 and the building has lain vacant since. Although it remains structurally sound, the armory faces maintenance problems that include a leaking roof and broken windows.


Bibliography: Woodward, W.M. McKenzie. PPS/AlAri Guide to Providence Architecture. Providence Preservation Society, 2003. pp. 204


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.


aerial, abandoned buildings, armories, Cranston Street Armory