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THE DIRT PALACE
WEDDING CAKE HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST
Welcome to the Wedding Cake House in Providence, RI! Our goal is to make your stay as enjoyable as possible!
Please feel free to ask us any questions that you might have. We love talking about Providence, the history of the house and sharing information about the artworks throughout its environs.
About the house and us: The Wedding Cake House was built in 1867 and was last fully occupied by the Tirocchi sisters dressmakers (1915-1947) and the Tirocchi family. Each room has a copy of a book about the Tirocchi sister's couture garment business for guest perusal during their stay (they’re also available for purchase). The house fell into disrepair and was abandoned sometime in the 1990's until 2017.
Dirt Palace Public Projects (a local feminist arts not-for-profit) began renovating the house in 2017 to serve as a project based Artist Residency Facility that is supported by short term rentals of people visiting Providence. Our initial program design planned to host guest artists working on projects at the same time as bed-and-breakfast guests. The onset of Covid-19 prompted us to reconsider this design during this time, and currently the house toggles between hosting bed-and-breakfast guests and having separate times of hosting Artist in Resident cohorts that are financially supported by bed & breakfast stays. Your stay at the Wedding Cake House helps us to support the creation of new artistic works in Providence, for which we are deeply grateful.
As you can imagine, Covid-19 has been a huge issue/concern in this sector. We have a section on covid safety (below). In the event that there is a local municipal indoor mask mandate, we will post information about this on the front door and ask all guests to comply
The following is a guide to logistical information that will be useful to know during your stay at the Wedding Cake House. If there’s anything that’s not covered, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Xander & Pippi
Normal check in hours are between 4 - 7 pm. We can often accommodate arrivals that come after this, but please ask before booking if you know that your arrival will be after 7pm. Because we are a small operation, and the person meeting guests is the same person who is up early managing breakfast, we can not accommodate check-ins later than 9:30 pm at this time.
Please come to the Toby Street entrance to check in (the set of double doors that can be reached from the ADA ramp connected to the parking lot). There is a doorbell here. If you ring the doorbell we don’t come right away, it means that we’re somewhere on the grounds out of ear range, but we’ll have our phones with us, so please message us.
Check out time is noon. If you require a later check out time we may be able to accommodate you, but please ask.
If you need to contact staff please message us.
Or email: WCHbnBBookings@gmail.com
GETTING TO & FROM THE WEDDING CAKE HOUSE
The Wedding Cake House is located at
514 Broadway, Providence RI 02909
The house faces Broadway running between Bainbridge Ave and Tobey Street, which are both one way streets (Bainbridge runs away from Broadway, Tobey towards it).
UBER/LYFT/TAXI: If you are using a car service, use 75 Tobey St, Providence RI 02909 as the destination (instead of using 514 Broadway). This will bring you to the parking lot and our main entrance which is on Tobey St.
The driveway/entry to the parking lot is behind the house on Tobey Street.
Off street parking is limited. We can likely not accommodate more than one vehicle per room. Guests letting us know if they will be driving is helpful for us in accommodating other guests! Please pull all of the way forward in your parking space to make it easier for other guests.
Getting Around Providence
There is a bus stop directly in front of the Wedding Cake House. RIPTA’s 27 & 28 line goes to Kennedy Plaza downtown where transfers can be made. Regular bus fare is $2 and transfers $1.
The Wedding Cake House is about a mile from Downtown Providence (Google says a 20 min walk) and about 1.8 miles from RISD campus (Google says a 30 min walk). There are various bike rental situations that change too fast to keep up with.
There are two internet networks.
Network 1: FIOS-qHGR4 Password: caw662sere872hop
Network 2: 2nd Floor Password: WeddingCake
Currently our office is closed to guests, however we are generally in the office 9am - 6pm. If you have a question please feel free to knock on the door and we’ll be right with you! If someone doesn’t answer your knock, message us on the app! If you need anything outside the timeframe of 9am - 6pm, send us a message! But please note that there is often only one staff on at a time, and sometimes they have to do things like take showers, so occasionally it may take up to 20 minutes or so to get a response.
We have a few options for breakfast. We have a self-serve coffee and tea station in the dining room. Guests are welcome to serve themselves throughout the day. On your arrival we will point out our “breakfast form”. Guests who are interested in breakfast can fill out a breakfast form by 8pm the night before to receive a light “continental-ish” breakfast between 7:30am - 10:30am. Depending on guests’ preference, breakfast may be delivered to your room, the dining room, or the outside patio at guests’ selected time. If you would like breakfast, please fill one out. We will deliver a tray to your room, the patio, or to the dining room. Because some items require prep, please fill out this form by 8pm the night before and leave it in the designated area.
If you’ve eaten breakfast in your room, please put your tray with dishes etc back out in the hall and we will take care of them. If you’ve eaten outside or in the dining room, leave your dishes where you ate. There is also a bus bin in the dining room for any used dishes.
There is a refrigerator with a freezer compartment in the dining room where guests can store leftovers (please label with your name and the date - sticky notes and pens are by the check in area). There are dishes and a microwave available for reheating leftovers or take-out. There is a bus bin in the dining room to place used dishes in.
There is no smoking allowed in the building or on nearby porches as per fire department regulations. There is a strict prohibition on all open flames in Bed & Breakfasts in Providence. So please no incense, candles, or just lighting matches for the fun of it. There is an ashtray at the far end of the lawn by the bench under the smaller oak tree - please keep all of your smoking and open flame needs to this area - thanks!
We have a no guest pets policy at this time. There is a house dog who is here sometimes. She mostly hangs out in the office or in the innkeeper's room. If you have a severe dog allergy this may not be the lodging for you. She is fairly quiet but has been known to let out a bark occasionally in the night.
While we’ve made every effort to soundproof rooms, this is an old house in a city! Rooms on the Broadway side of the house (1,2,5) tend to be a bit louder, with the sounds of the street and bus stop. We ask that, out of respect for other lodgers, guests keep noise to a minimum between 10pm and 9am. We start doing laundry at around 10am. It’s not particularly noisy, but some of the sounds are a little odd. We know that everything in the world these days necessitates occasional screaming. We feel it too...but if you have to scream please do it into a pillow and before 10pm. Thanks! Extra pillows are available (see the next section on supplies).
On the 3rd floor, underneath the tower, right off the stairs, is a vestibule with extra supplies. Towels, blankets, toilet paper, soap. Please help yourself as needed, but you know, don’t be like a harvester ant or other type of hoarding insect.
The Wedding Cake House has a steam radiator system. Well actually it has two steam radiator systems, one single pipe, the other double pipe. If you want to talk shop about historic radiators, we’re here for you. If you just want to be warm, we’ve got you too. Anyway, it’s an old system, and like most old systems, has some quirks. We tend to err on the side of warmth. But some rooms are warmer than others. The 3rd floor, in particular rooms 6 and 7 tend to be the warmest. Most rooms have ceiling fans. Rooms can be adjusted to “sort of” control the temperature. The hallways and downstairs tend to be a bit chillier. If you’d like any help adjusting the temperature of your room, we’re here for that, just message us. When the storms are down, we ask that guests not open windows. If you need the room to be cooler, we can adjust the radiator for you. The secret to hanging out in old buildings in New England is to dress in layers that can be added to or shed. If this is a new concept for you let us know. We turn the heat down a bit at night. Central heating is a pretty cool invention, but it can really dry you out! We’ve become big fans of the humidifier, and have a couple available if you would like.
In the summer there are window AC units that can also be used as fans. There is no AC in the halls or in the dining.
The shower and bath water gets hot but it takes a minute or two for the water to travel all the way to the upper regions of the house - but once the hot water gets there, it’s there to stay! The clawfoot tubs are equipped with hardware that can be a little bit confusing. There is a laminated diagram near the shower explaining how it works, but if you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to ask!
Mobility and Accessibility
The first floor of the Wedding Cake House is ADA accessible via the ramp to the Tobey Street doors. However, the guest rooms on the 2nd floor and 3rd floor are not accessible. Please let us know if you have ADA needs and we can let you know if the 1st floor suite is available. The main staircase is carpeted and has a sturdy handrail, if you prefer to climb less stairs we recommend choosing a room on the 2nd floor.
If someone has booked through AirBnb, we use the Security Deposit function on AirBnb. This helps to streamline charges in cases of problems. If someone books directly or through another platform Our damage policy is as follows: We expect there to be normal wear and tear on rooms. For the most part our guests have been amazingly conscientious. In the case of any major issues: broken or stolen items occurring during the stay will be the full financial responsibility of the Guest. Any special clean-up resulting in damages caused by the Guest will be charged to the credit card provided at the time of making the reservation. Charges may need to be applied after the departure of the Guest as deemed necessary by the Wedding Cake House, in such situations we will contact the guest within 24 hours of departure.
We recommend to most guests that they use the Toby St entrance which has a keypad that we reprogram for each guest. Room keys are “old-fashioned” metal keys. In the event that a guest loses their keys, we must charge a $75 lost key fee to the guest’s account upon check-out in order to replace the cylinder of the lock. There is a metal key to the Broadway & Toby St entrances that we can issue to guests if need be, but because these are special keys, the cost to replace the cylinders is fairly high and require an additional security deposit.
Cancellations 7 * days prior to reservation will be refunded less a $25 cancellation fee.
Cancellations received less than 7 * days prior to, and before 48 * hours before your scheduled arrival date, will be given a 50% refund on any additional nights.
In the unlikely event that you must cancel with less than 48 * hours notice, shorten your stay or check out early, please understand that we must ask you to take responsibility for your entire reservation. If we can rebook your room(s), a partial refund will be made.
Memorial day weekend and certain holidays are non refundable.
Rates/policies are subject to change and vary during high impact periods and special requests. *
WEDDING CAKE HOUSE COVID INFORMATION
We are committed to the safety and well-being of our guests and staff, and have enacted protocol to keep both safe. Please read the safety protocol below and feel free to ask us any questions that you may have.
Check-in, Check-out, common spaces, and Guest Expectations
Our check-in process will be in person, unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks.
Guests are required to commit to COVID protocol outlined here and acknowledge that if they do not, out of fairness to other guests, that they will be asked to leave.
Guests will be given a verbal tour of the common areas and directions to their rooms.
All unvaccinated guests and staff are required to wear face coverings while moving through common areas of the building at all times (hallways, dining room, kitchen).
Check-out will be contactless. Upon departing, we ask guests to leave the key in the key bowl in the dining room where checkin occurred.
Guests who are experiencing or have been exposed to another person with any symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days should contact us to reschedule their stay for a later date or to cancel. We have relaxed our cancellation policy to accommodate guests during the pandemic.
In the event of a regional mask mandate, we will post information about this on the front doors and ask guests to comply.
For more details on traveling to Rhode Island, and the list of places for out of state travelers to receive asymptomatic tests, please visit the RIDOH website.
For up-to-date information about COVID safety guidelines in traveling to and from Rhode Island, go to https://covid.ri.gov/covid-19-prevention/travel-tofrom-ri
We are using disinfectants and sanitizers approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
Guest rooms during a stay will not receive daily housekeeping. We are available for any maintenance issues and are happy to provide fresh towels or other room amenities by request.
We’ll provide sanitizer in common spaces. We also have supplies of masks if you need one.
ART IN THE WEDDING CAKE HOUSE
We currently have a photography exhibition of artists who photographed the Wedding Cake House before it was renovated between 2011 - 2019. The artists are André Brown, Ryan Cardoso & Rue Sakayama. More info on the exhibition here.
The ongoing exhibition at the Wedding Cake House is Ruffles Repair and Ritual: the Fine Art of Fixing. This was our inaugural exhibition - 150 artist works to celebrate 150 years since the house was built. Artists were asked to consider the following; pattern and the textile materials acquisitioned from the house in the collections of the RISD Museum and URI, decoration and the ornate architecture of the house, the history of the neighborhood and city over the last 150 years, immigrant experiences, changing ideas within feminism and concepts of sisterhood, as well as big picture ideas about what it means to repair both material things and relationships, cultures and histories.
Fifty artist works were commissioned for long term installation. In your room there may be one or several of these works - such as wallpaper, tile, furnishings, and decorative fixtures. Keep your eyes peeled for plaques with the artist’s name and work. In addition to these artworks that will stay with the house longterm, there are fifty flat and framed works for the walls. Some of these framed works are for sale. If you are interested in purchasing a piece, or would like to inquire about a price list, let us know.
In 2019 we showcased twenty five time based works (performance and video) as part of the exhibition, and finally, twenty five literary and historical research works were compiled into a book - which is in your room. We love to talk about the artists and pieces in this exhibition, so if you have any questions, please ask!
If you are interested in buying books:
$12 (or $20 for 2 copies) Ruffles Repair & Ritual: The Wedding Cake House Anthology
$20 From Paris to Providence: Fashion, Art, and the Tirocchi Dressmaker’ Shop 1915-1947
$30 for Ruffles Repair & Ritual & From Paris to Providence (one of each!)
There’s lots of stuff super close by within walking distance. Here is a list that just scratches the surface! No omissions made on purpose! Too many great locations to list! If you want any recommendations let us know because there are plenty of places close-by but maybe only a short drive away that didn’t make the list!
There’s a bus stop right out front of the house on Broadway for both the 27 and 28 RIPTA lines. Both of these busses travel east to Kennedy Plaza which is the main bus hub for the city. Regular bus fare is $2 and transfers $1.
All these spots are great - try a different one each day
Seven Stars bakery - 342 Broadway
about a 5 minute walk down Broadway towards downtown. Coffee, bread, pastries, sandwiches. No wifi to discourage people setting up an out of home office - but plenty of tables.
Dash Bicycles/Nitro bar - 230 Broadway
Just a little further down the street. Combo coffee shop and bike shop. Cold brew on tap, some fancy tea drinks, pastries, snacks and sandwiches. Not a lot of indoor seating
White Electric - 711 Westminster Street
A little farther away on Westminster. 15 - 20 minute walk. Coffee, bagels, pastries, sandwiches. Has wifi. Great place to set up and do some work if you can get a table
Sin Bakery - 1413 Westminster Street
About a 5 min walk on Westminster st. Coffee shop, dessert/ bar, and custom cakes
There’s too many restaurants nearby to list! We stuck to Broadway and Westminster. Also in walking distance are all the restaurants on Federal Hill (Atwell’s Avenue) that aren’t listed here. If you are looking for a particular cuisine, let us know. Providence has so many different types of restaurants and we’re really limiting this list by location. Check ahead to see whether restaurants are taking reservations or what their Covid protocols are.
Nicks on Broadway - 500 Broadway
Literally next door. Does both brunch and dinner Thursday - Saturday. Best neighbors ever
Vino Veritas - 486 Broadway
One block away. Italian food/ full bar
Julians - 318 Broadway
Brunch, lunch, dinner, craft beer and cocktails. Great for vegans and meat lovers. Weekend brunch will be a wait if you don’t get there early
Broadway Bistro - 205 Broadway
Upscale dining in a casual atmosphere, great reputation
La Lupita - Olneyville Square (technically 1950 Westminster)
In Olneyville Square. Dirt Palace’s favorite place for burritos. Make sure to get their amazing smoky red hot sauce
New York System - Olneyville Square (technically 18 Plainfield St)
Famous for wieners all the way, mouse traps (grilled cheese), David Byrne & more. Late night you can order through their to-go window. Classic RI fare & legendary spot. A fun place to go late night and people watch (whoa! do people go there DRUNK!...also! a fun place to go, if you happen to be drunk)
Troop - 60 Valley st
Modern cuisine, dinner and brunch, lively atmosphere with music
Great Northern Barbeque - 9 Parade Street
Smoked barbeque with a full bar. They legit have the smoker in the lot next to the restaurant. You can practically see it from here.
Pan a Day Take Away - 7 Parade
West Indian/Caribbean cuisine
Lucky Enough Eat & Drink - pub food. Outdoor seating.
West Side Diner - 1380 Westminster
Traditional greasy spoon diner. Open for breakfast and lunch.
Pizza J - 967 Westminster Street
Pizza place/bar run by the folks at Julians. Their website is bonkers
Nice Slice - 767 Westminster
“NY style” thin crust pizza. Sells both slices and full pies. Also can get pies made with vegan meats and cheese.
If you’re up for a short drive here are some more suggestions. Cambodian food is a RI secret treasure. We recommend Apsara at 716 Public Street, currently they are only open for take-out & delivery. Los Andes is Peruvian food that has amazing seafood and meat. It’s located at 903 chalkstone. We recommend getting there early if you don’t want to wait for a table because this place is popping. AS220 is a multi-use art space downtown with a bar and restaurant and live music at 115 Empire Street. It has great food for vegans, vegetarians as well as meat eaters and can be a good place to check out, and also to figure out what else might be going on in town. For beer lovers, a block away from AS220, Trinity Brew House is a pub/brewhouse that makes their own beer. North Restaurant, currently in the Dean Hotel downtown is one of our favorite spots (used to be in the neighborhood and moved downtown).
Check ahead to see if galleries are open. The pandemic has put a hold on many organization’s programming.
Multiple gallery spaces
115 Empire -
95 Mathewson Street -
Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery - 14 Olneyville Square
Publicly accessible from the street 24/7. Every 6 weeks a different artist installs work in this storefront window.
World’s Fair Gallery - 268 Broadway
Analogue Underground - 504 Broadway
Eclectic collection, right next door!
Armageddon - 436 Broadway
New England’s greatest metal and punk centered record shop (They also have a location in Boston)
Broadway Liquors - 361 Broadway
Small - pretty decent selection for how much they fit in there
Reyes Liquors - 1187 Westminster
Has a curated natural wine section in one of the fridges
History about this House, Neighborhood & City
If you’re interested in history, check out the Rhode Tour. Developed by Rhode Island’s Council on the Humanities, Brown University, and Rhode Island Historical Society, the rhode tour can either be listened to on your computer, or - if you download the app, you can follow the map in real time and listen to stories on your phone when you reach the pinned historical spots. The Rhode Tour of this neighborhood (west side of Providence that features the Wedding Cake House as one of its locations can be found at this URL
Or - watch this 6 minute snippet from part of the Rhode Tour on youtube
A queen bed & a twin daybed. 1 private bathA queen bed & a twin daybed. 1 private bath. To book on airBnb follow this link
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