Old Stone Bank, Providence
The Old Stone Bank, designed by C.J. and
J.R. Hall in 1854, is located in Rhode
Island’s capital of Providence. In 1898,
Stone, Carpenter and Wilson, Providence’s
leading architectural firm, was commissioned
to renovate and extend the building.
Carpenter and Wilson also designed a number
of buildings including
the Pendleton House,
the Royal C. Taft House, the Union Station
the Providence Public
Library, the King House, the Providence YMCA
the Mason Building, the William
Wilkinson Building, the Providence Telephone
Company Building, the Barrington Town Hall,
the 1893 Rhode Island Building,
Slade House, the Sayles Gymnasium at Brown
University and the
Brown University’s Ladd
Observatory.The Old Stone site also includes,
the Old Stone Bank, the Benoni Cooke House.
The Benoni Cooke House, built in 1828, is a
building that served as a
branch office for the Old Stone
((formerly known as the Providence Institute
for Savings). This ground floor underwent
renovation and an addition of a greenhouse
element in 1982. As designated by the
Providence Historic District Commission, the
Benoni Cooke House and
the Old Stone Bank
building are situated in the College
District and a National Register District.
Both buildings (Old Stone Bank and Benoni
Cooke House) underwent restoration by the
Boston architectural firm Ann
Associates Inc, which was the lead
commissioned by Brown University.
bought the Stone Bank
Building in 1995 to house the
Museum, which was formerly known as
|It was founded during the
1900s as Rudolf H. Haffenreffer’s private
collection of archeological finds. In 1928,
the collection later expanded to include New
World Relics. When Haffenreffer’s passed
away in 1955, his family turned the museum
over to Brown University. The museum was
renamed Haffenreffer museum in honor of its
original owner. Since then, the collection
continued to grow..
Brown University acquired the
Old Stone Bank building and the Benoni Cooke House from the
Resolution Trust Corporation. This acquisition is part of
the plan to transfer one of New England’s anthropology
museums to Providence. One of the most noticeable features
of the Old Stone Bank Building is its imposing gold dome.
This very distinct element has been a significant in
defining the Providence cityscape. When the Brown University
purchased the Old Stone Property in 1995, the gold-domed Old
Stone Bank Building became the focal point of the museum.
The Haffenreffer Museum has eleven galleries which houses
exhibitions and other projects. To house other galleries and
to bring people closer to the dome’s interior, a second
floor was built.
The Old Stone Bank Building was made more accessible and
occupant-friendly. Additional restrooms and passenger
elevators were installed. The structural reinforcements were
fortified and improved.