Thanks to Citizens Bank’s gift of its former Empire Street branch building, Trinity Rep has created a new first-class theater. Trinity gained an additional stage for its productions and those of sister Rhode Island arts organizations and new work from the Brown University/Trinity Rep graduate programs.
With flexible audience seating for up to 350, the Pell Chafee Performance Center offers advanced technical capabilities, a “satellite” box office, and comfortable amenities for audience and performers, fully accessible and ADA-compliant.
After a bad fiscal year in 2003, Trinity was looking to trim costs for the new Pell Chafee complex. The 350-seat performance space was due to open in the fall of 2004. They considered alternative designs so that the project could be completed with money already in hand, about $4.6 million, instead of the $6.9 million for the original proposal.
The Empire Street branch of Citizens was originally an Old Stone Bank. The 1819 carved into the facade refers to the founding of the Providence Institution of Savings, which later turned into Old Stone. The 1929 refers to the date this branch was constructed.
Old Stone Bank was a popular Rhode Island banking institution founded as a mutual savings bank in 1819. It collapsed in the 1980s after the federal government convinced it to take over two failed savings and loan institutions, but reneged on its promise that it would not hurt the bank to do so. In 1992, Old Stone filed a lawsuit against the government alleging breach of contract and were awarded $192 million in 2004, but an appeals court reduced the award to 74.5 million. Its mascot was Fred Flintstone, who would say in commercials “Yabba-dabba-doo, love that Old Stone Bank!”. The bank’s ATMs were called “Ready Freddy”.
Faye Sanders Mar 19, 2008 In the second photo there is a painting that is thought to actually be part of a set. The other paintings were rumored to have been given to the Hope Club by an Old Stone Bank Executive (and member of the Hope Club) before Citizens acquired the building from the Resolution Trust Company after the closing of Old Stone Bank.
katharine I think my great grandfather worked here, Charles Post.
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