Chet Smolski


image preview


Home to the Davol Rubber Co. from 1884 until 1977, the complex were rehabilitated and reopened for mixed retail and office use in 1982. 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 opened in the late 1970s. According to Jordy, 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. Since the 1990s, the buildings have reverted as a permanent display center for the wholesale jewelry trade and is therefore closed to the public.


Woodward, PPS/AlAri Guide to Providence Architecture (Providence, 2003), 123-4; Jordy, Buildings of Rhode Island (Oxford, 2004), 59;


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 1 Role


Building Type

Industrial vernacular

Building Style




Subject Headings

Urban renewal -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Mixed-use developments -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Factories -- Remodeling for other use -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Shopping malls -- Rhode Island -- Providence; Davol Square (Providence, R.I.)

Country Name

United States of America

Region Name

Rhode Island

City Name


Street Address

Davol Square at Point Street and Eddy Street


Davol Square, shopping malls, downtown revitalization, factories, urban redevelopment, economic development, business growth, business development