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About this Property
The Trayne building’s façade is a showpiece on Westminster Street, where Providence has a concentration of showpieces. The rounded corner overlooking “Pie Alley” (Clemence Street) is particularly cool. The third and fourth stories with the dramatic, copper-trimmed, round arch bay windows are also a stand-out. From the inside, they have been nicknamed the “Millennium Falcon” windows. The renovations done here make this building a stand out once again.
The Trayne Building renovation included adding a new building to its east side, overlooking Grants Block Park. The Trayne Building has its circulation area on the east side, the same side that the addition was added onto. Therefore, stairs and elevator for both buildings are now in the center of both of them, and the additional 20 feet of new structure is pure living space.
From the Cornish Associates website press release
The Trayne building is located at 270 Westminster Street and is best known locally as the building where the Movies on the Block screen is located. […] In 1953 the Old Colony-Newport National Bank moved into the building performing a large renovation which removed the original two-floors of the front facade.
The renovation of the Trayne Building will include an addition to the east side of the building, extending approximately 20 feet into Grant’s Block Park. The existing building and addition will include two restaurant spaces on the ground floor (one opening up onto a redesigned Grant’s Block Park) and 17 apartments on floors 2 through 5.
— Captured February 12, 2020 from http://cornishlp.com/tag/lapham-building
From the National Register nomination form for the Downtown Providence Historic District, prepared by William McKenzie Woodward, Principal Historic Preservation Planner, 1984
268-272 Westminster Train Building [sic], now Roger Williams Office of Old Colony-Newport National Bank (1893, 1954): Frank N. Gustavson & Sons, builder for renovations. 5-story, brick-sheathed structure with 1st- and 2nd-story articulation connotatively Colonial through use of 18th-century motifs, including red-brick sheathing with stone trim and a statue of Roger Williams; upper stories resolved into piers connected by round-head arches with bay windows filling these arches; simple sash windows above arches on fifth floor; egg-and-dart cornice.
The original structure visible above the second story, built for Alice B. and Elizabeth Train [sic] and Annie B. Hale, was a typical 1890s commercial structure; it remained an investment property for these women and their heirs until 1952. The renovation of the lower two stories, while avoiding the ad hoc storefront remodelings so common in the area, is nevertheless unsympathetic to the original architectural idiom. It does, however, seek to establish an historical connotation of time and place established by the bank that made the alterations and still occupies the building.