The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has announced that it will embark on an expansive and largely behind-the-scenes series of upgrades at the Jesse Metcalf Building, a 68,730-square-foot former textiles factory that has served as a central hub of activity on RISD’s historic Providence campus since 1917, 40 years after the school was first established. The renovation efforts—described in a RISD press release as “critical improvements”—are being made possible by a $4 million gift from an anonymous donor.
The Metcalf Building was named after Jesse Metcalf Sr., a wealthy textile manufacturer and husband of RISD cofounder and director Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf. (One of their sons, also named
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