This three-and one-half-story, brick, Greek Revival-style building, with a
gable roof, corbelled cornice and granite stone front, dates from the mid-nineteenth
century. Due to a change in topography, the building’s west elevation
stands four-stories in height. Fenestration is comprised of rectangular openings
with 6/6 sash and simple stone lintels and sills; storefront windows are fixed,
single-light. Recessed entrances are located along the So. Main Street elevation
(east). Shed-roof dormers project along both the north and south roof slopes
of the building.
Fall River Iron Works purchased the land around 1845 because of its waterfront
location. The company constructed the building ca. 1848 for use as an office
and warehouse when the company extended its operations from Fall River to Providence.
In 1881 they sold the building to the Fall River & Providence Steamboat
Company. Four years later, the building was purchased by Rumford Chemicals,
manufacturers of Horsford’s Cream of Tartar Substitute, bread preparation,
baking powder, Rumford yeast powder, and Horsford’s acid phosphate. They
used the Providence location as a site for their main office, labeling departments,
packing, shipping and advertising departments, and research labs until 1927
when the property was sold to the Phillips Lead Company. Phillips Lead occupied
the building until 1973 when they sold it to RISD architectural department (Woodward
1986; Kulik 1979).