the Coro Building


A nice building, I wonder when Lifespan took it over. Its kept in really great shape with nice landscaping. Bounded by Point Street, Hoppin Street, and Hospital Streets in the Jewelry District. Has a prominent position in the armpit of the junction between I-195 and I-95, but now, with the new road patterns, the building stands poised to be at the end of a new off-ramp from I-95 North ontp Point Street.


This is a 3-story, flat-roof, U-shaped, reinforced concrete building with pier and panel exterior walls, now occupied by Lifespan. The panels are filled with large banks of industrial sash windows, with bands of beige brick beneath. The piers rise up to a low parapet that is trimmed with a moderate amount of Art Deco styling. The main entrance is in the center of the south facade, recessed between two projecting wings. A large aluminum-sheathed marquee shelters the doorway; the legend, “CORO BUILDING 1929”, adorns the wall above; and the parapet swells in an ogee arch at the roofline. Unlike the other factories in the district, the Coro Building has a front lawn planted with trees and shrubs and enclosed by an iron fence. The original contractor, the Edward Sturgeon Company, built a 4-story wing in a similar style (without the parapet), on the western end of the building in 1946-47.

From RIHPHC report, 1981:
The Coro Company started as the Cohn & Rosenburger jewelry firm in NYC. It started its Providence location in 1911 at Abbott Park, but outgrew it and built this new facility. According to the Providence Journal, the Coro Company was the largest manufacturer of costume jewelry in the 1950s and 60s. By 1964 Coro operated three plants; Providence, Olneyville, and Bristol. By 1970 Coro had bought several other firms and had become a subsidiary of Richton International Corporation. By 1979 Richton closed this facility. In 1981, the building was empty.

Melissa May 2 2016 I’ve worked k. The Coro building for 10 years, and it’s changed over the years but You could always feel the building had a story to tell.

James R. Pannozzi Mar 13 2016 Around 1976 or 1977, looking for programming work, I stopped in this building. The resulting Twilight Zone experience i will never forget. As I walked in through the main door, it was totally silent. There were some desks but something wasn’t quite right. I shouted "hello" several times but it remained totally silent with no response. Then I noticed the desks, the office furniture was from the 1940’s, ancient metal file cabinets, old reclining wooden office chairs, metal desks with old rotary phones on them, many with a mechanical adding machine complete with crank! Finally, as I was about to leave, I encountered the janitor who directed me upstairs to the second floor where jewelry operations were still going on. They were still using RPG, an old IBM macro language I would not touch if you paid me, thanked them and left, still astounded that they could not keep a receptionist on at the front office.

R. J. Marr Jan 16 2013 The old building with high ceilings and worn wooden floors wasn’t the Coro Building; it was the Phoenix Building (c. 1854) which Coro purchased and attached to the Coro Building in the 1950s. I worked in both buildings in the 1970s. They're no longer attached, and a decrepit annex to the Phoenix Building was demolished in the 1990s. The remainder of the Phoenix Building has been very nicely rehabilitated!

Mike Maguire My twin brother and I worked in the Coro building during the summer of 1966. As summer employees, we worked in their stock and shipping rooms. pulling costume jewelry items already placed in plastic bags from bins and packaging them in cartons for shipment by truck. We also worked in the storage rooms where newly manufactured items were stored in metal buckets or pans and the main function would be to dump the pans into a funnel-type contraption that fed down to the lower floor where the packaging department was located. I distinctly recall climbing the stairs to the upper floors where we worked and passing the manufacturing floors where the din of the machines was almost unbearable. This was my first taste of blue collar work and inspired me and my brother to go on to college and law school so that we would never need to work in such a gloomy building doing menial, mechanical, and boring tasks. The building was old, had high ceilings, worn wooden floors and tall frosted windows. The place gives me the chills just remembering it! The surrounding area was occupied by decrepit multi-story apartment houses that obviously boarded factory workers and their families for decades past. My brother and I could hardly wait for summer’s end! I remember seeing both cheap and expensive pieces of jewelry, mostly the former, and at the end of our stay, we never wanted to see costume jewelry again.

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