The history of The Dorrance, site of the Welcome Reception

October 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you’re not excited about NAHSL in Providence yet, we hope this information about The Dorrance will help pique your interest! Here are some historical fun facts (thank you, Google!) about this beautiful and historic building…

Built in 1901 and completed in 1902 by the Providence industrialist Marsden Perry, the building originally housed the Union Trust Bank (with Perry at the bank’s helm). At 12 stories high, it was the tallest building in Providence at the time.

The ceilings are 30 feet, with gold-plated leaf with marble floor to ceiling. Twenty-foot stained-glass windows surround the main floor; in the center of each is a rosette depicting the coat of arms of major European banking families.

Don’t miss the marker above the front entrance, titled The Puritan and the Indian, which depicts Providence founder Roger Williams standing alongside a local Narragansett Indian Chief, with each looking in a different direction. This  supposedly a comment on the two cultures of the time. The marker was created by sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), who is also famously known for sculpting the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and The Minute Man in Boston.

On the exterior of the building there is a plaque showing the water level from the Hurricane of ’38, when Providence was submerged under 13 feet of water.

In 1973 the building was put on the National Register of Historic places. Various banking institutions continued to operate in the building until its closure in 1991 due to the RI banking crisis. In 1996 the first floor became the Federal Reserve restaurant, and in 2012 it became The Dorrance.

The Dorrance is now known as one of the best bars in the city, and is especially noted for its creative cocktail menu. We’re waiting to see whether they will create a special NAHSL cocktail for us! Beer and wine will be provided at the reception, but if you’d like to try the cocktails, the bar will be open (cash only).

Read more about The Dorrance!



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