Your best lost building here!


View up Westminster Street, circa 1890, past Hoppin Homestead Building, at right. (Courtesy of Providence Journal archives)

The other day I received an email from Edward Mack, an editor at The History Press, an imprint of Arcadia Publishing. You all know their books. The regional literature shelves of your local bookstore are struggling even now under the weight of one of History Press’s most popular series, Images of America. Old photos of a beloved location is a theme that sells many books. What Ed Mack has asked me to write is something different.


“Lost Hartford” (The History Press)

He revealed that he had visited my blog and read “Providence’s 10 best lost buildings,” from last year, which he said he thought could be fleshed out into a good book. He noted that they had a Lost Hartford but no Lost Providence. It sounded very intriguing to me. Anticipating Arcadia’s modern-day marketing strategies, I thought I’d post here a request for readers to suggest possible “best lost buildings” not mentioned in my original post, linked to above. Perhaps I could include several from readers, and mention them by name. Hey, Modern Internet Marketing 101! That sound okay, Ed?

So anyway, dear reader, click on the link to see what lost buildings I mentioned in my post and suggest one or more that I did not get to first. There are only 10 on the list. Scores if not hundreds of cherished structures have been lost but remain embedded in the memory of Rhode Islanders. So there must be wealth of opportunity for new best lost buildings of Providence out there. Any takers?

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Architecture History, Blast from past, Books and Culture, Development, Preservation, Providence, Providence Journal, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Your best lost building here!

  1. Pingback: ‘Lost Providence’ and readers | Architecture Here and There

  2. How exciting! Congratulations on the opportunity. Unfortunately I don’t have any buildings to contribute to your list though!


  3. Dan Morales says:

    The original YMCA ca. 1887 by Gould & Young.
    Clubhouse for the Narragansett Boat Club ca. 1883 by Gould & Young


  4. At least tonight they didn’t give RI Hospital the go ahead.


  5. Demo by intentional neglect. An art form here in R.I.!


  6. I don’t have an addition to your list, but I do have a story about one of your ten lost. About six months before the Police and Fire headquarters were torn down, I called the Providence Historic District Commission to warn them that a crew was stripping the copper flashing off the top of the walls. They hemmed and hawed. Six months later, the owner was given an emergency demolition permit because of the danger posed by the water infiltration into the walls. Surprise, surprise, surprise!


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