Known locally as the “Superman Building”, the Industrial National Bank Building in Downtown Providence stands as the tallest building in Rhode Island, but has been vacant for nearly 10 years! The building was constructed in 1928 and can be classified as Art Deco in style, but has more Classical detailing, echoing the end of the Beaux-Arts movement. The building was given the nickname “The Superman Building” as residents claimed it looks like the Daily Planet Building in Superman comics (I don’t see it).
Designed by the firm of Stone, Carpenter & Willson, the building was constructed to serve as the headquarters of the Industrial Trust Company, which was founded in 1886. The building was occupied most of its history by the firm who went through a series of mergers and name changes, until Bank of America (the owner as of 1998) moved the offices of the occupant bank to Boston. Just before the economic recession of 2008, the building was purchased by High Rock Development for over $33 million. Tenants began moving out of the building, with the last (a Bank of America office) leaving in 2013.
Stories say that various projects have been envisioned by the developer, ranging from demolition to luxury apartments, with no movement in sight. It appears that the State Historic Preservation Office is not willing to allow Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits for a project in some articles. As of February 2020, the University of Rhode Island Providence Campus appears to be interested in occupying at least part of the building. Fingers crossed!