Images of this Property
7 images: Press to view larger or scroll sideways to see more. Contributions from the Providence Historical Aerial Viewer
About this Property
In December of 2014, the Capital Center Commission (CCC) approved plans for a new building, the second phase of Capitol Cove. Originally called The Commons at Providence Station, it was later renamed Station Row apartments.
The CCC had oversight into the design and development of Parcel 6, which in the map, was originally split into five different parcels. Instead, two buildings were proposed in 2003 and phase 1 constructed building A by 2008. A plan for another building was also approved, but the plans had changed significantly enough since that they required new approval. The shape of the building and surrounding area remained true to the intent of the original design approved by the Committee in 2003.
The proposal and final approved designs consisted of 169 apartments, the same number of enclosed parking spaces, and amenity areas, leasing office, and community spaces. The site uses an existing road which runs parallel to Building A. The drive entry up consists of a circular courtyard with entry into the garage interior garage along the side with the train tracks.
The design incorporates “architectural variety” in the approach to materials to allow for smaller, distinct architectural districts rather than a monolithic development. The materials used in Building B match those in Building B — two tones of brick, metal panel accents, and exterior painted cementitious panel system.
We are impressed the developers were able to get 169 units in such close proximity to the daily commuter train and along a busy vehicular corridor such as Smith Street. It must have ben a challenging site to build upon, and we imagine most people who think of moving in are concerned about noise. Still, the building seems fully leased and has extra amenities like being pet friendly, has a self-service bike repair shop on site, roof deck, and fitness center.
Photos of this project have been hanging around our collection for some time, the most recent photo having been taken in 2020. It just wasn’t as interesting or noteworthy as other projects that were added to the site first. It took us three years to add this one to our archive.
We’re not fans of the “architectural variety.” It seems blocky and boxy and uninteresting. All the detail is flat and not detail — like, craftsmanship detail — as much as it is blocks of color. Local critic William Morgan agrees:
Cities need to have people dwelling in their commercial district, not only to survive, but also to make them livable and vibrant. So, we should be welcoming the $55-million project as an asset that will attract empty nesters, wealthier students, and those men and women moving here to work for Providence businesses. […] Station Row boasts that one “can fill an entire weekend day without ever stepping out the front door … everything you need is right within our doors.” That statement reveals a basic shortcoming of this complex: residents are discouraged from taking part in the life of the city. The promise of elegance stops at the lobby, as the outside of Station Row is as uninteresting as a large suburban motel. Everything about the exterior screams shortcuts and lack of imagination.1
We have to agree here. The haphazard boxes look like a pile of legos dropped from the sky. Some of it seems like the idea of a city building as imagined by someone who has never seen a city. Its really too bad that our wonderful turn-of-the-century State House has such an ungainly neighbor.
Leasing information is available at their website, Station Row.
Morgan, William. “Station Row Development, Providence’s Eastern Bloc Design.” GoLocalProv, 12 November 2019. Captured 14 October 2023 from https://www.golocalprov.com/business/Station-Row-Development-Disconnected-from-the-City-Architecture-Critic-W ↩