Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sights ~ Carr House ~ Providence

Dr. George W. Carr House
29 Waterman St.
Providence, Rhode Island

This is one of my favorite buildings in Providence. Built in 1885 for Dr. George W. Carr, in the Queen Anne style. Less than 100 years later it belonged to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It houses offices and the Carr Haus cafe. I remember going to their cafe back in 1982-83.

Carr House Providence
I was so excited to see it again when we moved back to Rhode Island.

The building underwent major renovations in 2010
Carr House shrouded

and reopened in 2011, I think.

Carr House

It seemed as though we'd never see the inside of the cafe again - I wasn't even sure it was still in operation. But after some diligence, and a few disappointed visits to a locked door, we found it open.

Carr Haus cafe

Carr Haus cafe counter
Bear and I enjoyed drinks and ham and cheese croissants. They were tasty and inexpensive.

It was a real thrill to tour around the inside of the rest of the building. From the exterior, it seemed like it would be a real treat inside.

The double doors into the building on Waterman Street are beautifully carved, and lead to a reception area backed by a staircase to the upper levels.

Waterman Street doors

entryway

It looks like they still have the original floors there.

Carr Haus cafe is to the right, and to the left are a couple of student sitting areas.
fireplace
The amazing architectural details carry through. I can only imagine what the house must have looked like when it was new and being used as a private home...

...before the extra office walls were built, landing fireplaces in rather awkward places.
fireplace

Returning to the reception area, you can take the stairs up to the next floor. Overhead is an impressive (but dirty) stained glass skylight.
stained glass window

The Office of Student Life is on the second floor, and reflects the artistic nature of the school.
2nd floor corner office
This office is on the Waterman/Benefit St. corner turret and boasts an amazing view of the campus and First Baptist Church next door.

There are other offices, and the third floor and attic space, which is not yet renovated, but we were glad to finally get to see the inside of the building at all.

I wish there was some history available online about the building. Surely someone knows something about it. I couldn't find information on Dr. Carr or his family, or how the building came to be in RISD's possession.

3 comments:

  1. Just stumbled on your review.I am the manager of Carr Haus cafe. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit! We are open to the public 9-5 Monday through Friday starting in late September. I hope you will come visit again! -Rachel Mollicone rmollico@risd.edu

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  2. Thank you so much Rachel! We did enjoy our visit. If we're in the area during business hours we'll be sure to stop in again.

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  3. Yes, the skylight was up for debate weather it is a Tifany Glass made or not.

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