Providence County is named for the City of Providence which was named by Roger Williams in 1636 in gratitude for “God’s merciful providence, unto me in my distress”.
Created: June 16, 1729
Providence 1729 – present
County Courthouse / Supreme Court – Providence
Location: 250 Benefit Street / College Street
Built: 1924 – 1933
Style: Georgian Revival
Architect: Jackson, Robertson & Adams
Contractor: J W Bishop Company
Description: The building faces west and is a nine story red colored brick and concrete structure. The building appears as a series of smaller, connected buildings rising up to the steep slope of College Hill. The U shaped red colored brick building faces west onto a plaza along South Main Street. There is a center tower with clock and small dome. The main floor on the west side is grey colored stone. On the east Benefit Street side, the entrance is onto the fifth floor. The building also contains the Rhode Island Supreme Court on the 7th floor in the northwest corner. The judicial bench is along the west side of the Chamber and statue of Justice is along the east entrance side.
Family / District Courthouse – Providence
Location: One Dorrance Plaza / Friendship Street
Built: 1978 – 1980
Architect: The Robinson Green Beretta Corporation
Contractor: Dimoe Construction Company
Description: The building faces north and is a four story red colored brick and concrete structure. The north front has a high recessed central entrance with high vertical glass section. There are no windows on the north front and vertical glass sections on the east and west sides with red colored brick dividers.. The roof line is flat. The building is named as the J Joseph Garrahy Judicial Complex.
Old County Courthouse – Providence
Location: 150 Benefit Street / South Court Street
Built: 1760 – 1762
Style: Georgian Revival
Description: The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick and wood structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds. The building was extensively renovated and dramatically altered in 1835 to 1836 and in 1840, and consisted of rearrangement of large portions of the interior. It was again altered in 1850, when Thomas A Tefft of Tallman & Bucklin added the large tower facing Main Street, and a reorganization of nearly the entire interior. In 1867 James C Bucklin designed an addition on Benefit Street that nearly doubled the size of the building. Both of these additions were sympathetic to the building’s original design. The building was refurbished in 1877 to 1883, to designs by Stone & Carpenter. The building served as the State capitol until 1901. In 1904 to 1906 the building became the courthouse with internal alterations by Banning & Thornton. The building ceased to house the court in 1975.
Note: The first courthouse was built in 1730. The second courthouse was the Old State House.
Other Branch Courthouses
Woonsocket ( old courthouse )
W – Windham County, Connecticit
Photos taken 1998 and 2017