“Wrought in the 10th Year of her age” by Abigail Adams Hobart depicting Rhode Island College (Courtesy of Janet M. Phillips Brown University: A Short History)

As you trudge up the steep path of College Hill from downtown Providence, the Van Wickle Gates and University Hall welcome you to the main campus of Brown University. University Hall’s administrative offices, bell tower and timeless colonial style has assured its place as the center of Brown’s campus. University Hall started out as the only building on Rhode Island College’s campus. It was built in 1770, modeled after Nassau Hall at Princeton, although it ended up being slightly simpler than its New Jersey counterpart. Robert Smith designed Nassau Hall in 1756 in the Georgian-Colonial style and – just like Brown’s University Hall – Nassau Hall was designed to house the entirety of New Jersey College at that time.

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