St. Francis Xavier Academy

60 Broad St., Providence, RI


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Built In



St. Francis Xavier Academy was opened by the Sisters of Mercy with twenty students in 1851. At that time, it was both a boarding school and a day school. In 1874, a building with convent and school was erected on Sixty Broad Street in Providence, RI. Two years later, Joseph Banigan, the “Rubber King” gave $25,000 for a new chapel to be designed by a master artist from England. Every detail of the chapel tells the story of the Mother of God. For many students, the chapel was an integral part of the St. Xavier experience. By 1899, thirty-five young ladies were enrolled in the high school, as well as fifty boys and girls in the elementary school. In 1919, St. Xavier’s became exclusively a high school for young ladies. Ten years later Academy Hall, a complete classroom building with science labs and cafeteria, was constructed. With the addition of the auditorium in 1932, the St Xavier campus was completed. From the 1920’s through the 1970’s, St. Xavier Academy enjoyed an excellent reputation throughout the State of Rhode Island. It was fully accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Students were accepted in colleges of choice. Graduates in the Commercial courses of study were sought after by area businesses. In addition, many religious vocations were nurtured at St. Xavier Academy. Source - St. Xavier Alumnae Association Designed by Frank Howard Martin and George Frederic Hall who also designed the Irons & Russel Building, 95 Chestnut St., Champlin Building, 119 Chestnut St. and over 40 buildings in Providence. Now Xavier Hall of Johnson & Wales University.[11]