State Arsenal (Providence, Rhode Island)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
State Arsenal
Benefit St Arsenal.jpg
State Arsenal (Providence, Rhode Island) is located in Rhode Island
State Arsenal (Providence, Rhode Island)
State Arsenal (Providence, Rhode Island) is located in the US
State Arsenal (Providence, Rhode Island)
LocationProvidence, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°49′42″N 71°24′32″W / 41.82833°N 71.40889°W / 41.82833; -71.40889Coordinates: 41°49′42″N 71°24′32″W / 41.82833°N 71.40889°W / 41.82833; -71.40889
Built byTallman & Bucklin
ArchitectRussell Warren
Architectural styleGothic Revival
NRHP reference #70000003 [1]
Added to NRHPApril 28, 1970

The State Arsenal (commonly called the Benefit Street Arsenal) is a historic armory building at 176 Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island.


The arsenal was designed in 1839 by Russell Warren[2] and built by Tallman & Bucklin, all of Providence.[3] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.[4]

In the 19th century the arsenal was used as the armory of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery (PMCA) and associated artillery units in the Rhode Island Militia and was used as the mobilization site for 10 batteries of light artillery which were raised in Rhode Island during the American Civil War.[4] In addition to the PMCA the arsenal was used by a number of organizations including the Grand Army of the Republic, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and United Spanish War Veterans.[4]

In April 1920, the Rhode Island General Assembly earmarked $3,800 for the purpose of repairing the arsenal.[5]

On May 17, 1924, the Ku Klux Klan held an illegal meeting at the arsenal which attracted about 200 men. Governor William S. Flynn denounced the KKK and forbade the group from meeting on state property.[4]

In the 1980s the arsenal was in use by the Rhode Island National Guard's Education, Historical and Equal Opportunity offices.

As of 2008 the arsenal was in use as the location for the annual presentation of the Order of St. Barbara to soldiers of the 103d Field Artillery Regiment of the Rhode Island National Guard. It also serves as the headquarters of the PMCA (the de facto 103d Field Artillery veterans association) and houses a diverse collection of military artifacts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Providence Journal (March 15, 1839)
  3. ^ "National Register of Historic Places : State Arsenal" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  4. ^ a b c d Tardif, Elyssa (2013). Providence's Benefit Street. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 74–75. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  5. ^ Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. State of Rhode Island. 1920. p. 528. Retrieved 19 January 2016.