I really like the architecture in downtown Providence, otherwise known as “downcity.” I like that the façades of old buildings are often preserved to enhance next-generation buildings and that some old buildings are adapted in their entirety for new purposes. Even if a building is rather pedestrian, some artist will add a flourish.
And isn’t it great to live in the time of the Internet and be able to find answers to almost anything that’s puzzling? For example, what’s with the guy wearing a turban on one downcity building?
Well, Wikipedia says that in the early nineteenth century, a shopkeeper called “Jacob Whitman mounted a ship’s figurehead above his store. The figurehead, which came from the ship Sultan, depicted the head of an Ottoman warrior. Whitman’s store was called ‘At the sign of the Turk’s Head.’ The figurehead was lost in a storm, and today a stone replica” is found on Turk’s Head Building’s building’s 3rd floor façade.
Wikipedia also notes that when the 16-story building was completed in 1913, it was the tallest in the area and considered a “skyscraper.”