AIR Stillinuse :: Teste Block
01 02 03 1895 1920a 1920b (old photos from The Revolving Fund) Render 1 Render 2
Teste Block

other links’s listing of available rental units at this property.


Architects StudioMeja and a new owner have submitted plans and gained approval for a mixed use restaurant and office use. Extensive masonry work will be done to the building and a new glassed-in courtyard will expand the footprint for a 30+ seat restaurant.

The Philippe Wolfe company, a men’s clothier, moved out of the ground floor retail space in late 2003 and National Grid – which owns the adjoining properties – bought it.


From PPS’s 10 Most Endangered Nomination – The Teste Block was built in 1860 to designs by Providence architect Charles P. Hartshorn (1833-1880) whose work is now exceptionally rare. Among the oldest commercial buildings in downtown, it is an important component of the cluster of those remaining along Westminster and Weybosset Streets between Turk’s Head and Dorrance Street. Featuring red brick with white trim and paired arch windows, this diminutive yet monumental building is striking because of its relatively small size and significant as one of the last of the narrow, low-rise commercial structures in historic Downtown Providence.

Though previously used for office space on the upper floors and retail on the ground floor, the Teste Block has been vacant since 2004. The current owner, National Grid, whose Providence office is immediately adjacent on Dorrance Street, has no plans to use or sell it. While the parcel on which it stands has little economic utility by itself, it offers its owner room to expand its local headquarters. In another two years, the owner will be able to legally demolish the building under Downcity Review Commission regulations, which allow demolition of buildings that remain unoccupied for five years.

Charles Someone told me not long ago that it belongs to Southern Union Gas Company (a.k.a. National Grid, a.k.a New England Gas, a.k.a. Providence Gas). Their main building is adjacent.

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