Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall

A shingle-style public building sat underused for 20 years before being rejuvenated recently

About this Property

Current Events

This lovely and large building visible from Interstate 195 on and off ramps for Veterans Memorial Parkway and Taunton Avenue has recently undergone a paint job and a roof replacement. We do not know what the building is currently being used for (or if it is for rent) but it is certainly in the best shape its been in for many years.


About Odd Fellows (Oddfellows)

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order of Odd Fellowship. It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Wikipedia

A few more photos of the building can be found on Wikimedia Commons.

From the National Register Nomination Form, 1980

The Oddfellow’s Hall is located in a densely built-up neighborhood of residential and commercial structures near an interchange on Interstate Route 195. It stands in the same block as Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church at 83 Warren Avenue. Erected in 1889, the hall is a two-and-one-half-story, shingled wood-frame structure covered by a hip roof with a rear gable. An octagonal, louvered cupola with a tall, flared conical roof originally rose from the center of the roof but it has been removed. Several oriel-like bays project from the contained, rectilinear mass of the building. They rise from second-floor level and break up through the structure’s bracketed eaves. One bay, at the center of the facade (north side), is polygonal in form and is capped with a hip roof. Supported by curving brackets flanking the entrance to the stair hall to the upper floors, this bay contains a triple window at the upper level and, over the central second-floor window, a semi-circular carved panel with the legend “I.O.O.F. 1889” surrounded by elaborate foliate ornament. The remaining bays, three on each side of the building, are supported by consoles and topped with gable roofs. They contain two-story, arch-topped recesses with arched windows at the upper level. The front bays on each side have regular double-hung windows at the lower level, while the center and rear bays have double-height double-hung windows. The first-floor facade of the hall is taken up by a storefront that extends around the corner along part of the east side. It is topped by an entablature-like band with a broad frieze and heavy cornice moldings. Except for the installation of larger panes of plate glass, the storefront is virtually unaltered from its original state. A smaller, simpler storefront fills the rear portion of the east side of the building.

The ground floor, originally subdivided into shops, is now occupied by a restaurant. Except for an embossed metal ceiling, there are no noteworthy decorative features. The upper floors contain a large meeting hall and some office space. Access to these areas could not be obtained and their state of preservation is unknown.


The Oddfellow’s Hall is historically and architecturally significant. The hall and Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church are the only surviving Victorian public buildings near the site of Watchemoket Square, once the focus of the Watchemoket neighborhood, which became East Providence’s new civic center in the late nineteenth century. The buildings that occupied the square were all cleared away in the twentieth century to permit the construction of Washington Bridge and an interchange on Interstate Route 195. The hall is thus an important indicator of this area’s former status. It reflects Watchemoket’s development as a community center and a suburban residential neighborhood of Providence, and the attendant establishment of new civic and social institutions to serve an expanding populace.

The Oddfellow’s Hall is architecturally noteworthy for the high quality of its design. A distinguished structure by the prominent late nineteenth-century Providence architectural firm Gould and Angell, it is an excellent example of a small Shingle Style public building.

In the News

Historic Odd Fellows Hall in East Providence could finally be ready for redevelopment

by Mike Rego
East Bay RI | August 22, 2019 (abridged)

The dilapidated Odd Fellows Hall at the heart of what aspires to be East Providence’s Arts center at Watchemocket Square on Warren Avenue may finally be ready for a reprieve after the City Council during its Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting approved a purchase and sale agreement submitted by the office of Mayor Bob DaSilva.

By a 5-0 vote, the council backed the mayor’s request to sell the decaying 140-year-old structure to Indigo Holdings LLC for the sum of $1. The agenda item was sponsored on the August 20 docket by Ward 2 Councilor Anna Sousa, in whose district the hall is situated.

“This is a building that has been vacant for many, many years with multiple issues. And we have put it out to bid on numerous occasions without success. We do have someone interested who is going to preserve the historic nature of it to the best of their ability and bring life to the Arts district, which is necessary and vital to our community,” Ms. Sousa said while introducing the ordinance.

The submission by Indigo Holdings to redevelop the Odd Fellows Hall was part of the most recent Request For Proposal (RFP) bid process, which began in March and closed in mid-April of this year.

No specific details on what the company plans to do with the 2.5 story, 12,000 square foot building were announced last week. […]

“It’s been a blighted area, a blighted building. It’s producing the city zero taxes right now and costing us money probably to insure it, maintain it,” said At-Large Councilor Bob Rodericks in seconding the approval motion. He also credited the “aggressive” recruiting of a purchaser by Mayor DaSilva’s office with the assistance of the city’s Community Development Block Grant coordinator Dave Bachrach. […]

The purchase and sales agreement allows the property to qualify for East Providence tax stabilization program, establishing a single assessed value for five years. The city also has on offer a $100,000 interest-free loan to the buyer in order to conduct necessary repairs to the hall, which was built in 1889 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The most glaring external defect is the roof, its shingles and water dispersement systems both in total need of replacement. In addition, the agreement allows Indigo Holdings to participate in the city’s commercial loan and commercial microloan programs, both giving the developer access to low interest funds.

As well, the Odd Fellows Hall is in the city’s federally backed “Opportunity Zone.” The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act established the federal “Opportunity Zones” program and allowed states to nominate tracts by low income in areas where the program is intended to “spur investment through favorable capital gains treatment for investors who support eligible development projects.” Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced last year that all 25 areas submitted by the state for designation as “Qualified Opportunity Zones,” including in city, were approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. East Providence Census Tract 104, including parts of the waterfront district and Warren Avenue, is the city’s designated zone.

Captured August 13, 2022 from the version of