A. T. Wall Company
162 Clifford Street, Providence RI
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Ashbel T. Wall established a company for the production of gold-plated wire in rented quarters on Sabin Street in 1888. In 1908, Wall enlarge his operation and provided rental space for other manufacturers. He commissioned Bowerman Brothers of Boston to design a new manufacturing building. There the A.T. Wall Company continued to manufacture rolled gold plate and wire, with a variety of designs for manufacturing jewelers and metal workers. The four-story reinforced concrete structure with a flat roof and large windows represents an important milestone in the history of modern architecture. It is one of the earliest known example of a reinforced concrete construction employing the mushroom-column-and-flat-slab technique. This mode of construction, developed by the American Engineer C. A. P. Turner in 1905-6, and patented in the same year 1908, allowed for a freer floor plan than the traditional beam and column structure. A. T. Wall’s decisive new stylistic and structural approach to manufacturing building becomes particularly apparent when compared to the brick and wood Doran Building at 150 Chestnut Street, which was built simultaneously.