Lederer Building & Blackstone Hotel

also known as Bell Dormitory, Kent Hotel, Hotel Providence

Two 19th-century commercial buildings come together to create a unique hotel with historic character

About this Property

#Redevelopment

Timeline copied from the Hotel Providence website1 with corrections that make the timeline match the National Register historical information:

1897
The Lederer Building (Mathewson St) opens at the height of Providence’s real estate boom. This building would served as offices for artists, musicians, and elaborate clothing designers.
1911
The Hotel Blackstone (Westminster St), designated as an elegant property, offering “quality and comfortable rooms starting at $1.50 per night” opens to the public.
1918
Hotel Blackstone doubles in size, adding what will eventually become Hotel Providence’s ballroom.
1976
Hotel Blackstone ceases operation as a hotel.
Around 1988
Two smaller buildings on the corner of Mathewson and Westminster (see Jay Boersma photo) are taken down to form Freeman Park.2
1990
The former Hotel Blackstone opens as a dormitory for Johnson & Wales University, and is called Bell Hall.
1994
Stanley Weiss builds The Liner Building, connecting Hotel Blackstone and Lederer Buildings. This building lines Robert E. Freeman Park — a park maintained by Hotel Providence.
2003
Work begins on both buildings to convert them into a boutique hotel.
2005
The Hotel Providence opens to the public.

Developer Stanley Weiss, an international art and antiques dealer, purchased two underutilized buildings in downtown Providence and joined them into a distinctive boutique hotel and event space. Around the corner from residential developments on Westminster Street and a short walk to the Performing Arts Center the hotel has supported the growth of the Arts and Entertainment District and the transformation of Downtown Providence.

The hotel features 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 2,200-square-foot ballroom, and a fitness center. Original paintings hang in each guest room, which have what architect Jay Litman, Newport Collaborative Architects, calls “European-style bathrooms” with marble stall showers and pedestal sinks.

#Current Events

80 guest rooms and 16 suites are available for booking from Hotel Providence’s website.

#History

From the National Register nomination form for the Downtown Providence Historic District, prepared by William McKenzie Woodward, Principal Historic Preservation Planner, 1984

139 Mathewson: Lederer Building (1897): M.J. Houlihan, builder. 7-story, brick-sheathed building with elaborate 2-story entrance now covered on first story by mid-20th-century stuccoed storefronts; elaborate frieze above second story with 3-bay resolution of upper stories dominated by central projecting bay window with rounded corners; a frieze above the sixth story, elaborately framed tripartite windows on seventh story, and a heavy, boxed, copper modillion cornice supported by console brackets. Since its completion, the Lederer Building has housed the offices of a number of small businesses, primarily tailors, dressmakers, milliners, and hairdressers.

It is a well designed commercial structure with fine detailing. Taller than the buildings flanking it on Mathewson Street, its articulation is similar in scale to these buildings, and its height is well integrated with nearby taller structures at Westminster Street, such as the Lapham Building and the Grace Church steeple.


317-321 Westminster: Blackstone Hotel, later Kent Hotel (1911): Clarke,, Howe & Homer, architects. 5-story, red-brick-sheathed building with mid-20th-century storefront; 3-bay facade with tripartite double-hung sash windows with quoin-and-keystone stone surrounds in each bay on second through fifth stories; elaborate stone modillion cornice.

A modest hotel until 1976, the Blackstone has since been vacant. A handsome structure despite its modern storefront, it is a highlight of the north side of Westminster Street between Mathewson and Moulton Streets.

  1. Captured from https://www.hotelprovidence.com/history and copied for documentation purposes 

  2. According to aerial photography from the Providence Historical Aerial Viewer