City Hall – Cranston RI


After winning the mayoralty in 1934, Ernest L. Sprague “called for the building of a new city hall because the existing one in Knightsville was a ‘fire hazard’ … Within a few months … Sprague had secured a federal grant from the Public Works Administration to build a new city hall.”   (Frias)

A 1939 survey of PWA projects describes the still intact city hall as follows: “The new city hall, which houses all of the municipal offices, replaces the old frame town hall built in 1885 which was considered to be a firetrap, and, in addition, made it possible to eliminate three other buildings which were used as annexes to the town hall and for which a yearly rent of $1,080 was paid.

The new city hall is T-shaped in plan and is three stories in height, including the basement. The exterior materials are granite, red face brick, and buff limestone. The sloping roofs are covered with slate the windows are part wood and part steel, and the exterior doors are part wood and part bronze. The structure is fireproof.

It has a steel frame, concrete floors, and wood roof. The exterior walls are brick with wood trim and the cupola is wood. It was completed in January 1939 at a construction cost of $67,557 and a project cost of $85,385.”   (Short and Brown)

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).

"Cranston and Its Mayors: A History" by Steven Frias (page 44)

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Location Info

869 Park Ave.
Cranston, RI 02910

Location notes:

Coordinates: 41.779612, -71.436690

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