Providence to preserve historic bank facade

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence mayor Angel Taveras is joining with preservationists to announce steps to save a bank facade on Weybosset Street. The bank was torn down six years ago but the facade was left in place to be incorporated into a high rise that became a victim of the recession.

The brick and limestone facade of the former Providence National Bank building has been held up with steel beams that block the sidewalk for six years. Under a plan to be unveiled Monday, the beams will be moved to behind the facade and the weed-strewn lot will be paved over into a parking lot.

James Hall, director of the Providence Preservation Society, calls the facade "1950's colonial revival" and says its quality is unsurpassed.

"The quality of the craftsmanship and construction is absolutely phenomenal," he says. "The architects had limestone medallions carved in the shape of giant coins in homage of the fact that this was neoclassical architecture but was architecture of banking."

The facade is all that's left of a bank that was torn down several years ago to make way for a 40 story condominium building that was scrapped when the recession hit. The facade was to be incorporated into the condominium building.

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