Rhode Island’s famous “Wedding Cake House,” located at 514 Broadway in the capital city of Providence, gets its name from the home's ornate Italianate tower and distinctive “sunburst” gables. Built in 1867 by Broadway resident Perez Mason, the house was commissioned by John Kendrick, who made his fortune manufacturing loom harnesses.
At the time the house was built, Broadway was one of the most desirable addresses in Providence, as evidenced by the next occupant, George W. Prentice, an industrialist and street-railway tycoon. However, the most famous residents of 514 Broadway were the Tirocchi sisters, Anna and Laura, who repurposed parts of the home (also known as the Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House) as a dressmaking workshop. The historical importance of the Tirocchi’s 30-year business (1915-1947) has been documented in a study by Brown University.
In recent decades, the home has gone unoccupied and has been subject to a variety of redevelopment proposals, including being divided into affordable-housing units. The uncertainty about the Wedding Cake House’s future has landed 514 Broadway on the Providence Preservation Society’s 10 Most Endangered Properties list three times in the past half-decade. Preserving the house is considered a key to the continued revitalization of Providence's West Side neighborhood. Broadway, the heart of the West Side, is home to notable landmarks like the Columbus Theatre, famed restaurants like Julian’s and Nick’s on Broadway, and popular shopping at Cluck!, the Armageddon Shop, and Rocket to Mars.
The “Let’s Save One, Providence!” plan is to convert the 6,530-square-foot, seven-bedroom Wedding Cake House into the Providence Inn, a luxury inn with 8-12 guest rooms. Project goals include:
- Provide five-star hospitality to guests
- Renovate, restore, and preserve a critical Providence historic landmark
- Stimulate the local economy and support the revitalization of Broadway and the West Side neighborhood
The Providence Inn will cater to both business and leisure travelers. The inn will be within walking distance (or a short bus ride) of Providence’s historic Federal Hill and Downcity areas. Each room will be expertly appointed with amenities that include luxury beds and bedding, high-definition televisions, in-room print/scan/multimedia access, and individual en-suite bathrooms and climate controls.
Guests will have access to free, off-street parking and 24-hour concierge services, as well as a self-service laundry and kitchen. In addition, the inn will provide a complementary 390+ square foot meeting space equipped with the state-of-the-art technology needed for presentations, trainings, or meetings — amenities with a specific appeal to today's business travelers.
The transformation of the Wedding Cake House into the Providence Inn will maintain the historic character of 514 Broadway while restoring the house to its original grandeur. The beautification of this local landmark will include much-needed renovations and landscaping improvements. The project leaders are committed to enhancing the “curb appeal” of the property by adding new street lighting, rehabilitating sidewalks, and improving the existing Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus stop just outside the inn’s front door.
Guests will be encouraged to walk to nearby restaurants and shops on Broadway to enjoy all of the entertainment options the West Side neighborhood has to offer. RIPTA’s bus network will provide easy access to attractions throughout Providence and beyond, from Newport to the beaches of South County.
Our goal is to raise $500,000 to secure the financing necessary to purchase the Wedding Cake House and complete the renovations needed to create the Providence Inn. Opening date of the inn is set for Spring 2018.
Project Leader: Daniel Stimler/Stimler Hospitality
A longtime New Englander, Dan also spent parts of his life in New Orleans, upstate New York, and Colorado. After retiring from a 20-year career in the Navy’s submarine service, he began a second career in hospitality. Dan graduated cum laude, earning a bachelor of science degree in hotel management at Johnson & Wales University and worked as the head concierge at the Providence Marriott hotel, the city’s most enduring address for visiting business and leisure travelers.
Editorial Consultant: Bob Curley
Bob is a freelance writer specializing in travel and healthcare, with a particular interest in Rhode Island tourism, hospitality, and history. He is the founder and publisher of RITravel.org, the Caribbean Travel editor at About.com, travel editor at Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine, and a contributor to Coastal Living, New England Home, and other national publications.
Architects: Paul Attemann/Union Studio
Paul is a senior associate at Union Studio, in the heart of downtown Providence, with over 20 years of experience in architectural practice. Since joining Union Studio as one of the firm’s first employees in 2002, he has been the Project Architect for many of the firm’s mixed-use & housing projects. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in architecture, Paul began his career at Architects Santa Fe in New Mexico. He later returned to Rhode Island and earned additional experience designing adaptive reuse and affordable-housing projects.
Marketing: La Vie Sauvage/Angela Walters Sauvage
Angela is a former resident of Federal Hill and a believer in, and enthusiast for, all things New England. She has more than 10 years of global marketing, communications, brand innovation, and customer-engagement experience in industries ranging from sporting goods to manufacturing. Angela is the principal at La Vie Sauvage, a boutique, agile marketing agency; co-director at ThinkTraining, an international professional training group; and a lecturer at the University of Savoie Mont Blanc in France.
Interior Architect: Nick Heywood
Nick is a designer, educator, and writer based in Warren, Rhode Island. He has taught at the University of Rhode Island since 2010, and began teaching in Interior Architecture as a writing consultant to thesis students in 2013. His interests lie in the relationship between sustainable practice and historic preservation, and he has worked with residential and commercial projects in the United States and South America. Nick studied literature and philosophy during his undergrad years at RISD, and continued to a Master's degree in 2009 from the department of Interior Architecture.
Director of Marketing: Emily Hall
Emily brings over 15 years of architectural marketing experience to Union Studio, with a focus on communicating the unique value that design firms have to offer. In her role as Director of Marketing and New Business Development she helps guide the firm’s strategic marketing efforts while identifying new project opportunities. Emily received a Master in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College with a double major in art history and studio art.
Graphic Artist: Frean Delos Santos
Based in Cebu City, Philippines, Frean is an independent graphic designer who is passionate about sharing his art and skills with clients around the world. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer technology and previously worked as a creative designer for Sheridan Marketing, Inc.