Architecture ~ The O'Gorman Building ~ Providence

One of my favorite buildings on Westminster Street is the O'Gorman Building. That's mostly because of the supercool peacock on the front facade:


Just above the O'Gorman sign, you may see a bird. Here's a closeup:


Behind the bird is a blue line that you follow up, up, up four stories, you see its crowning glory

A peacock tail!

The O'Gorman building was built in 1925 for Thomas O'Gorman (1860-1944), an Irish immigrant who left his thriving dry goods/grocery business to go into in real estate development. His office was here, as well as a clothing store, furniture store, and ladies' milliner (AIR).

From the National Registry of Historic Places: "O’Gorman Building 1925: 6-story, brick-sheathed, steel-frame building with mid-2Oth-century storefronts; large plate-glass windows at second story with terra-cotta stringcourse above; upper stories resolved into window bays ornamented at bottom with stylized peacocks whose tails rise 3 stories to fan out at the top of the building. Built as an office building with 1st-floor shops, the O’Gorman Building has housed small commercial concerns and offices since 1925. The building’s exuberantly detailed facade adds variety to Westminster Street; its massing helps to define the scale of this block."

After sitting vacant for 35 years, Cornish Associates, with help from the Providence Revolving Fund and (PPSRF) Downcity Partnership, joined the O'Gorman building with the neighboring Burgess building and revitalized the structure. (PRF) The two buildings are now business space on the ground floor, with high-end lofts above.

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