Back on December 29, I shared photos of the following buildings in A Building’s Story and asked readers to guess what the original purpose of these buildings were.
My thanks to Erik from Reader Area Development for guessing the first strip mall before the revolution. It made me smile as even though that was not the answer, a weekly farmer’s market is held very close to these buildings during the summer. A lot of activity happens today near these buildings, but never really in these buildings as they have been vacant for years. I don’t even think they are used for storage.
So what are these buildings?
These buildings are located in Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, RI. Originally a large estate, the 489.2 Acre parcel of land was deeded to Rhode Island to be a state park in 1927. The park opened in 1930. The land included numerous estate buildings, including a mansion, a carriage house, large barn, and other ancillary buildings. The mansion, built in 1876 was Victorian in style and consisted of 33 rooms. Unfortunately, “the Oaks,” as it was known, burned down in April, 1975. The original stables, so likely the barn or the carriage house, was also destroyed at some point (I think also by fire, or was it by the Hurricane of 1938). New stables have since been built, offering park visitors the opportunity for trail rides, but one can still see the foundation of the old building close by. You won’t see evidence of the mansion on the ground at surface level, the foundation was filled in and over and now it’s a green lawn, home of numerous Frisbee games, and games of fetch.
These buildings are among the smaller, unnamed buildings in every history of the estate I could find on the internet (Google wasn’t much of a help to me either, Erik), but there is a small pond near the two that you can see in one picture, which freezes over, which makes me wonder if one is an ice house given the close proximity. So in truth, I don’t really know what the buildings truly are either, despite they’re buildings that I’ve like for years, but the above is the information I have, which I hope you found useful/insightful.
Thanks for reading!