One Financial Plaza or Hospital Trust Tower

The One Financial Plaza is reputed to be the second tallest building in the financial district of Providence, Rhode Island. The tallest is the Bank of America Building, which is called the Superman Building by the Providence locals. The One Financial Plaza is also called the Sovereign Bank Tower. It was formerly known as the Hospital Trust Tower. The original purpose of the Hospital Trust Tower was to house the organization behind the funding for Rhode Island Hospital. The One Financial Plaza has twenty-eight floors and over three hundred thousand square feet of high-quality office space. The sizes of office spaces range from a modest five hundred square feet to a massive area of almost thirteen thousand square feet. The building’s exterior features a taut-skin cladding of pre-cast concrete and travertine.

Travertine is the same material used in the Coliseum of Rome, in the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris and in the Los Angeles Getty Center in California. It remains a widely-used building material in modern architecture. At the topmost portion of the One Financial Plaza is a masonry cap that emits light during the dark hours of the evening until midnight. It usually glows orange, but the lights are replaced with different colored bulbs to suit various occasions.

Green and red bulbs are used to heighten the festive mood of the city during the Christmas holidays; red lights are used to accentuate the romantic atmosphere of Valentines; and red, blue and white lights are made use of to enhance the patriotic spirit for Independence Day. On top of this festive masonry, the cap is the highest helicopter pad in all of Rhode Island. Standing at one hundred and five meters, the international-style skyscraper is one of the most dominant structures in the Providence skyline. The tower was built as an addition to the Hospital Trust Building of 1919 by the John Carl Warnecke & Associates architectural and design firm. The project was completed in 1973.

The building is certainly an imposing structure, but William McKenzie Woodward who is a prominent architectural historian and a member of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission is not impressed by the aesthetics of the structure. Nonetheless, the One Financial Plaza gives the financial district of Providence a unique sense of place, and it has established the genius loci of the area for future architects and urban designers.

Working in the One Financial Plaza building definitely has its perks as it is very near shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. The building even has its own Starbucks outlet. The tower is open twenty-four hours a day. The huge building population is more than sufficiently serviced by nine high-speed passenger elevators and one freight elevator. There is an on-site security team and a professional management team to ensure that everything is working smoothly and efficiently.