The Wedding Cake House
This extravagantly embellished house is still called the Wedding Cake House in spite of its current desperate search for rehabilitation. The first owner John Kendrick was an inventor whose American Supply Company dominated the global market in loom and reed harnesses, a crucial element of textile mill power looms. The c. 1867 mansion attributed to Broadway architect Perez Mason reflects the euphoric froth of new money. For a while owned by railway and button-fastener tycoon George Prentice, in 1915, the house was purchased by Italian immigrant dressmaker Anna Tirocchi. In the elegant salons of the Wedding Cake House, Anna and her sister Laura fitted Providence’s elite in their couture creations that echoed Paris fashions. At Anna’s death in 1947, everything was wrapped in tissue paper and put away. Some forty years later, RISD Museum curators were stunned as if entering a fashion time capsule when Laura’s son invited them into the house to catalog and preserve the collection.