Orrin E. Jones Storage Warehouse

A late-nineteeth-century warehouse building with thick walls, strong floors, and details reminiscent of an armory building

About this Property

#Redevelopment

A great example of turn-of-the-century architecture with impressive massing and detailing that recall the former Merchants Cold Storage building as well as local armories. With modern storage facilities being no more than rows of garage door and cinder block construction, we appreciate the pride and finesse that this building displays.

It is located next door to the Goodwill Engine Company and the Pearl Street Lofts, and behind the playing fields for Central High School in a mostly commercial neighborhood, with residential housing not too far away. On the corner is another impressive brick structure, the Southside Cultural Center, located in the Trinity United Methodist Church.

#Current Events

The Jones Moving Company has been in steady business since 1896.

#History

From the “Industrial Sites and Commercial Buildings Survey (ICBS)” by PPS and the AIA, 2001-2002, hosted by ProvPlan.org (now defunct)

The Jones Warehouse building is a massive, five- and seven-story, Richardsonian Romanesque-style, flat-roof, brick building embellished with a brownstone-trimmed façade and a corbelled brick cornice. This highly ornate building features crenellation on the seven-story block and narrow, recessed windows. Three sets of pedestrian entrances are located on the southeast elevation (façade) of the five-story block. Fenestration consists of paired and tripled, rectangular 6/6 sash with stone sills. The top floor of the five-story block features two groups of four round-arch windows with brick corbelling below. The top two floors of the seven-story block feature narrow, round-arch windows set in two rows. The side elevations of the building are devoid of architectural embellishments. A sign reading “Warehouse” stands atop the five-story block. A sign painted on the northeast elevation reads “Orrin Jones Storage Warehouse.” A second painted sign is visible on the southwest elevation of the seven-story block.

To the rear stand two outbuildings associated with this property: a two-story, brick, gable-roof building used for storage (identified as the “Annex” on historic maps) and a five-story, concrete, flat-roof structure to the northwest. A paved lot bound by a chain link fence is located to the south.

Built to the designs of the architectural firm of Gould, Angell & Swift, the building has been compared to the Merchants’ Cold Storage Warehouse (160 Kinsley Avenue) architecturally, which was also built in the 1890s to the design of a major architectural firm. The building has been used by Jones Warehouses, Inc. through to the present day. Begun in 1896 as one of the first modern storage facilities in Providence, a seven-story fireproof addition replaced an earlier three-story structure (RIHPHC 1979; Woodward 1986).