By the 1850’s the neighborhood at the intersection of Westminster and Weyhosset streets emerged as the commercial and financial center of Providence. This reflected the centraility of the maritime economy coupled with increasing industrialization along the river and throughout this part of Rhode Island. Numerous financial institutions emerged in the area, including Merchants Bank. Locals referred to the area as Bank Street by the time of the Civil War.
The building functioned as the home of Merchants Bank from 1857 until it corporation’s merger with the Providence National Bank in 1920. The first floor continued to be used by banking institutions until the Automobile Association of America occupied the space. Meanwhile, the upper floors served as professional offices for several decades. The building was also utilized by the Rhode Island School of Design Works.
Over time, vacancies and increased maintenance costs led to an uncertain fate for the historic building. Rather than demolition, the building was preserved with renovations that facilitated a transition to mixed retail and residential space. The first floor of the building is now home to a restaurant while the upper floors are upscale apartments.