Providence-Biltmore Hotel

11 Dorrance St., Providence, Rhode Island


Providence Biltmore Hotel

1. View east, in context

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


The Providence Biltomore Hotel was by far the most modern structure in Providence at the time of its completion in 1922. It was not only the tallest building in Providence, but its facilities and technical improvements were also a great advance on earlier Providence hotel norms. Following its opening in June 1922, the Biltmore quickly became the gathering place for Rhode Island business, industry, government and social communities. The corridor from Washington Street to the area that now serves as the lobby retains its original configuration and much of its simple detail. This passageway is significant as a reminder of the original program of the hotel, with its principal public rooms located above street level. The corridor was the only space on street level integrated into the interior design of the hotel. The Falstaff Room is a barroom dating to the mid-1930s. Its architectural and design elements create an "Olde Englishe" setting. The Falstaff Room harkens back in form and spirit to the paneled bars and grills of country clubs, many of which were done up in Queen Anne or generic Tudor style. During the 1930s, revivalist settings were coming into increasing use for their associational possibilities, especially as a marketing tool. Probably little altered since the 1930s, the room remains intact as a bit of architectural merchandising and as a touchstone to twentieth-century social history. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS RI-49)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 1977
Reference number
NR name
Providence--Biltmore Hotel
Architectural styles
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival; Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Beaux Arts
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1922; 1977

Update Log 

  • April 18, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller