Earle Building // 1895

The Earle Building in Downtown Providence, Rhode Island is an architectural anomaly. The structure was built in 1895 and is a stunning example of the Second Empire style of architecture, best characterized by the iconic Mansard roof. The Second Empire style surged in popularity from the 1860s-1880s, but really fell off in popularity when historic revival styles took over (Renaissance, Colonial, and Classical). William H. Earle built this structure in 1895 to house his business, Earle & Prew, General Express Forwarders. Earle & Prew dealt exclusively with at least half a dozen local train and steamship lines, and held offices in this building well into the 20th century. The building today is one of the better-preserved structures downtown, which provides architectural intrigue and design that is of human scale.

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