Brown program gives new life to historic Bannister house

The house at 93 Benevolent St. now bears a plaque that recognizes its historic significance.
The house at 93 Benevolent St. now bears a plaque that recognizes its historic significance. | Contributed photo

The historic residence of 19th century African-American artist Edward Mitchell Bannister has been renovated and returned to the College Hill community. 

It’s being presented as a family residence, complete with two-tone wood siding that matches the neighborhood while maintaining its historical appeal. The interior of the home has been renewed, representing a more contemporary style

The house at 93 Benevolent St. now bears a plaque that recognizes its historic significance. The renovation was undertaken by Brown University as part of the Brown to Brown Home Ownership Program. Brown University assistant vice president for real estate John Luipold said it was exciting to honor the legacy of a man whose paintings now hang in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Originally built in 1854 by Charles E. Paine, the structure became known as the Bannister house when the renowned artist and his wife, Christiana, rented the home, where they resided together until 1899.

The subject of the renewal has been heralded, and important voices in the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, Providence Preservation Society, and local community have been staunch supporters. 

The Brown to Brown program has renovated six homes so far in an effort to revitalize underused homes in the area so they can become taxable properties for the city of Providence.

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Brown University 75 Waterman St Providence, RI - 02912

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