• Provenance | Joseph and William Russell House
  • Provenance | Joseph and William Russell House

Provenance | Joseph and William Russell House

118 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island
Built 1772

The Russell House was also known as Clarendon and was built at a time when Providence was beginning to overtake Newport as Rhode Island's busiest shipping center. The house was built for the brothers William and Joseph, the city's wealthiest citizens from the success of their West Indies trading. The house was the second brick edifice and the first three-storey structure in Providence. It stood on King Street (now North Main Street) near where a group of the Russell ships lay. The architect is unknown but many colonists relied on Battey Longley's well known Annual, Builder's Complete Assistant as a guide for most of the exterior and interior decorative details.

The British blockade of the shipping lanes during the Revolutionary War brought financial ruin to the Russell brothers and the house was sold in 1798 to John Corliss. It was later raised one storey and a ground floor inserted for the lobby of the Clarendon Hotel. The building was purchased in 1920 by Joseph Blazer, a retail merchant in Providence. The original interiors were then were sold to several museums. Other rooms from the Russell House appear at the Brooklyn Museum, the Minneapolis Art Museum and the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design.

The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.