House Tour 2018: Creative Conversions

Above: A view of modern day lightning splitters on Harrison Street from a fourth floor apartment in the former Pilgrim Congregational Church, built in 1866

Fantastic fall weather, lots of art and design, and a walking tour exploring creatively reimagined homes and gardens in a storied pocket of the Armory District made the Creative Conversions House Tour one of WBNA’s most memorable.

As WBNA’s only fundraiser, the House Tour supports our work, advocacy, and operating expenses throughout the year. We are grateful to the 23 house hosts, 117 volunteers, 63 participating businesses and sponsors, 21+ artists, 133 Preview Party guests, 5 photographers, and more than 500 tour goers. Special thanks go to Providence Preservation Society – our presenting partner this year – along with its excellent staff and volunteer network, and our tireless House Tour Committee for helping us reach our goals!


More than 500 participants experienced the theme “Creative Conversions” first hand as they toured homes and gardens in and around the streets of Harrison and Hammond. Eight of the ten buildings featured on the tour are owned, converted, and/or occupied by artists and makers, and all of the homes express the strong sense of design and creativity of those who inhabit them.

Visitors explored inside reconfigured Victorians as well as modern-built homes that compliment the existing historic streetscape. The renovations, reworkings, and redesigns embodied by these homes offered inspiration and ideas to tour-goers, who in some instances had the opportunity to ask the homeowners themselves about their choices and design approach.

Presented this year with Providence Preservation Society, the tour also offered exemplary conversions of two buildings that were once in near-ruins: a burned out 19th century firehouse transformed into two living units and an artist’s studio, and the recently completed residential conversion of a former church building (built 1866) that had been left vacant and deteriorating for years. Both buildings now feature stunning interiors with exposed brick, original timbers, and lots of natural light.


Part of House Tour Weekend, the Preview Party featured delicious local food and drink in the atmospheric yet rarely-seen Alfred T. Mansfield House, which overlooks Dexter Training Ground and the Cranston Street Armory. Many thanks to gracious hosts Alyssa and Christina and to our fine food and beverage donors: Nick's on BroadwayBayberry, Pastiche, Rebelle, Virginia & Spanish Peanut CoRevival Brewing Company, and Reyes Liquors.

Above: Preview Party at the Alfred T. Mansfield house

This celebration and fundraiser included a silent art auction featuring works by twenty-one local artists, most of whom live on the west side. The majority of proceeds from the art auction went to the artists, with the remainder benefiting WBNA and PPS. We appreciate the following artists for taking part in this event:

Seth McCombs
Walker Mettling
Frank Mullin
Gibson Prouty
Dan Talbot
Priscilla Weidlein
Jason Wessel
Dan Wood
Michael Zachary
Rebecca Zilenziger

Sandor Bodo
Andre Brown
Katie Commodore
Elissa Della Piana
Mark Freedman
Nancy Hart
Brian Hennessey
Deb Hickey
Anja Josuweit
Jen Kennedy
Xander Marro

The Creative Conversions House Tour celebrated our neighborhood’s built environment; the artists, makers and innovators that contribute to our unique community; and our local businesses. As always, WBNA asks neighbors to patronize local businesses whenever possible, and especially those who so generously support our local neighborhood association (see below).

We are grateful to our sponsors and donors who contributed to the success of these great events including Sin and Pizza J’s for donating food for our 117 volunteers on House Tour Day. 


Residential Properties
Providence Tourism Council

Bank RI
Providence Real Estate Guy

Centreville Bank
Jephry Floral Studio
Locke Lord, LLP
Seven Stars Bakery
Westcott Properties

Adler's Hardware
Armory Management Company
Stepping Stone Partners LLC
Barbara Sokoloff Associates
Casa Buena
City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats
Duck & Bunny/Ogies
Dylan Conley
Fuss & O'Neill
Grant Mill
Hugh Barry
JKL Engineering
Michael Riley
Mike Fitzpatrick
Monika Kraemer
Nick’s on Broadway
Pilgrim Lofts | Rooms & Works
Planet Fitness
Providence Revolving Fund
Puroclean Disaster Restoration
Reyes Liquors
Rock Spot Climbing
Sin Desserts
TF Morra Tree Care
The Avery
The Sandwich Hut
Union Studio Architecture & Community Design
Urban Greens
Virginia & Spanish Peanut Co
West Side CPA
Westminster Eyecare Associates
White Buffalo

Atomic Clock
Bayberry Beer Hall
DBVW Architects
Federal Hill Podiatry
Hudson Furs
John T Romano DDS
Lila Delman – Nancy Kresser
Nor' East Landscaping
Rebelle Artisan Bagels
Revival Brewing Company
Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission
Riff Raff
Sterling Cleansers
WE Gas