The Dean Hotel
The Dean has passed the test. The fifty-two-room boutique hotel in downtown Providence clinched press from The New York Times and Wallpaper magazine for turning a former brothel into the epitome of chic. The historic 1912 building began as a rescue mission for the Episcopal Diocese, but in the 1960s turned into a transient hotel and strip club called the Civic View Inn and then later evolved into the Sportsman’s Inn gentlemen’s club. The design was overhauled by Brooklyn-based ASH NYC, whose cofounder and CEO Ari S. Heckman grew up in Providence. Inside and outside, Rhode Island connections abound. Local artisans designed end tables and bed frames (including funky bunk beds!) and contributed art and photography, railings were crafted by the Steel Yard and Recycle-a-Bike refurbished five vintage bicycles, available for guest use. Architects include Christine West and Phil Derby of Kite Architects in Providence, and restaurateur Mike Sears helms the new Magdalenae Room cocktail lounge and the German beer garden Faust’s Hofbrauhaus. Rhode Island-based Bolt is brewing beans at its coffee shop, and there’s even a karaoke bar called Boombox where groups can (ironically) rent rooms by the hour. Add board games created by Hasbro and a library from Symposium Books to the mix and the Dean may be cool enough for New York to notice, but it’s Rhode Island all the way.
1912 — The Diocese House, rescue mission for the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.
Mid-1940s — The Diocese House was converted to the Hotel Plaza.
1960s — Civic View Inn, transient hotel and strip club.
1980s — The Sportsman’s Inn gentlemen’s club.
2012 — Acquired by the Dean Hotel.
122 Fountain St., Providence, 455-3326, thedeanhotel.com