Greater City Providence

Brown sells iconic Old Stone Bank Building

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PBN reports that Brown University has sold the iconic Old Stone Bank Building on South Main Street to a private developer (Gold Dome Properties LLC) for $2.14 million. Brown acquired the property in 1995 for $1.15 million. The university had plans to move the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology into the building but decided renovation costs and the costs for a needed multi-story addition were too high.

We will be keeping an eye out for whatever future plans are announced for the building. Gold Dome Properties declined to comment to PBN about what plans they may have for the building.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • I never like it when groups buyings buildings have no comments on plans… That’s rarely good… I mean, they didn’t spend the money saying, “Boy, cool building… Let’s buy it and figure out what to do later!”

  • By the way, too bad about the museum not moving to that location… The Haffenreffer was actually a great quality but vastly undervisited attraction. Moving it near the RISD Museum could have created a Museum Block of sorts… Get J&W to put the culinary museum nearby and that would have been awesome…

    But that kind of thing requires municipal vision and planning and, you know, that sort of thing that we just don’t do here…

  • Yeah, if I spent $2.14 million on something, I’d have a pretty good idear of what I wanted to do with it. I suppose however, if they have $2.14 million sitting around, that they could be speculating that the price will go up on the other side of the recession and they are just going to sit on it until then. The $1.15 million Brown paid in 1995 was, well in 1995 and also they bought it out of receivership.

  • I LOVE the idea of the Culinary Museum! With a big test kitchen and everything. That would be a very cool addition to the Providence museum and restaurant scene!

  • There is a Culinary Museum silly. It’s down at J&w’s Harborside Campus though, so I never go there.

  • Oh.
    It should be, you know, Downtown, where all the restaurants and stuff are!

  • I agree with Bret wrt the Haffenreffer. I assume this is all part of the whole thing where the endowment is going down.

    Perhaps Gold Dome is going to make a luxury residence for Emma Watson.

  • It’s really a shame the museum isn’t happening, since that seems a perfect use for it. What else can you use that building for?

    What would you do with it?

  • It might be an interesting re-use as a restaurant and inn. It is certainly well located.

  • If I had $2.14 million to throw around, I’d make it my personal fortress of solitude.

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