The Club House
Perhaps the first brick veneer structure in Providence, the three-story dwelling was built by Seril Dodge in 1790 and bought in 1799 by Moses Brown for his son Obadiah. Long known as the Obadiah Brown Brick House, it was first leased to the Providence Art Club in 1886 and deeded to the Art Club in 1906.
The original entrance to the building was from a gangway on its west side. An entrance hall and dining room occupied the space now taken by the Green Room. Our Reading Room was the parlor. The Cabaret is the original wash house built in 1791 and believed to be practically intact with its fireplace and brick oven. The walls of the Reading Room are paneled with the dwelling’s original window shutters. Silhouettes of Art Club members on the walls were originally painted in the Green Room in 1887, restored in 1961 and added to on all the walls ever since.
In 1896, an addition was built to the Art Club which houses the “Grill Room” or Central Dining Room. Here W. Granville Hastings executed the bas-reliefs in plaster frieze and here too, and elsewhere, are the unique gas jet fixtures used then for lighting. A Cafe or Dutch Kitchen was added in 1906 and other extensions in 1930, 1941 and 1962. Serious refurbishing and strengthening of the structure was done in the 1980’s.
An archway connecting the Club House gallery (once the second and third floors of the old brick house) to the Seril Dodge House was built in 1920.