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Brown's Haffenreffer Museum will move to Old Stone Bank building
[Citizens Financial Group Inc. purchased Old Stone's deposits from the government in July 1994. Citizen officials worked with the RTC over the last year to ensure appropriate care and reuse of the historic gold dome building and assisted Brown in its negotiations with the government, a Citizen's spokesperson said.]
The famed "Gold Dome" building is a great architectural landmark of Providence and deserves a worthy use in its own right. The Haffenreffer Museum with its great anthropological collection deserves a home worthy of its artifacts.
The Haffenreffer would make a welcome addition in the growing number of museum attractions within a few blocks of the Providence River. This is rapidly becoming the new front door to Providence, and a "museum mile" is shaping up on either side of the restored waterway. On the west bank is the proposed Heritage Center with 12 partner museums. The Children's Museum of Rhode Island is developing its own new site on South Street a few blocks away from Davol Square. With the Haffenreffer in the Old Stone Bank and the Museum of Art at RISD nearby, it should be possible for Providence to attract the visitors that these world-class collections richly deserve. Hopefully, a bus loop and water taxi system to Waterplace and the Convention Center can help tie it all together.
We're working to return important buildings to useful service in order to make downcity vibrant again. We want to make downcity a place where people are willing to live and people will find reasons to visit.
The acquisition of the Old Stone building by Brown University, one of the Coalition's founding members, will be a major contribution to our combined efforts at recovering the central part of the city. The relocation of the important Haffenreffer Museum to the "gold dome" building will bring many visitors to downcity and will enhance the Coalition's program to develop new living space, retail businesses, and a thriving arts and entertainment district.
The Haffenreffer Museum will join several other museums planned for the area, along with the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, a new movie theater, the Providence Performing Arts Center, Trinity Repertory Company, Veterans Auditorium, AS220, and the Convention and Civic centers in a walkable, habitable, historic and fascinating urban setting.