Rhode Island's entry faced north on Colonial Avenue; the site selected was in the extreme southeast corner of the Exposition grounds, on high land, backed by a beautiful grove of oaks and walnuts. Adjoining to the east was
Indiana; to the west, Nevada.
Across the avenue and was modeled from the Stephen H. Smith mansion in the town of Lincoln. Thornton & Thornton of Providence, selected from sixteen sets of plans submitted in
open competition by Rhode Island architects. The supervising architects were Messrs. Mauran, Russell and Garden, of Saint Louis. The contractor was L. B. Wright of Saint Louis.
The Rhode Island Building imitated in cement the material of which the old Smith mansion is constructed— seam-faced granite" taken from the quarry on the estate.
The 101 by 61 foot building cost 20,300 dollars. An ogee gable was reproduced in colored staff to give the effect of the "seamed-face granite" taken from the quarry on the estate. 6,242.80 dollars of furnishings filled its interior.
The building was located on Colonial avenue, facing north; the site selected lying in the extreme southeast corner of the Exposition grounds, on high land, backed by a beautiful grove of oaks and walnuts and convenient with
respect to transportation, restaurant service and main entrance of the fairgrounds. Adjoining to the east was Indiana; to the west, Nevada. To the rear of the building sat the Inside Inn.
Inside, the building borrowed from the best colonial examples to be found in the Rhode Island plantations. All the rooms had large open fireplaces with gas logs, and their colonial mantels were loaned to the State by their owners.
The first floor contained a state hall, which through the left, one could enter a writing room and a ladies pallor. To the right of the state hall, was a reading room, an information bureau and a smoking pallor. The second floor contained four chamber room, an executive room, the commissioner office
and a colonial hall. Each floor had toilets, which the second floor was equipped with baths.
One of the highlights of the building was a cut glass chandelier that had been a
gift from Marie Antoinette to Lafayette in 1826.
The Rhode Island building was formally dedicated June 1, 1904 with a brief ceremony that began at 3pm.
On July 4, 1904, the Rhode Island Building was purchased by Mr. John Ringen, of St. Louis.
Apart from the sleeping quarters, the entire building was devoted to public use.
Rhode Island was well-represented in the
Palaces of Horticulture, Education, Fish and Game, and Education and Social Economy. The work of the primary, secondary and normal public schools, and the various institutions under the control of the Board of State Charities and Corrections, constitute the displays in the Palace of Education and Social
Economy. There was a creditable showing in the Palaces of Agriculture
and Forestry, Fish and Game (including lobster and clam exhibits).