Edward and Christiana Bannister resided at 93 Benevolent Street from 1884 to 1899. By the time the Bannisters moved into the house, they were in their late 50s and early 60s but financially comfortable and socially integrated into the art and black communities of Providence. Their new home and neighborhood reflected their status. U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich lived down the block at 110 Benevolent Street. Unfortunately, as the couple got older, they found it more difficult to earn income and maintain their previous level of prosperity. In 1900, the elderly couple moved into a smaller house.
The dilapidated house is currently owned by Brown University. It was on the Providence Preservation Society’s 10 Most Endangered List of 2001. Although Brown and many Providence cultural organizations recognize the historic value of the building, its fate is in limbo. There is no marker to indicate that the Bannisters lived there, and even the street number of the house is gone.
The house looks different than it did in the Bannisters' day. The brick facade was added by occupants who lived there after the Bannisters. Should this house or site be commemorated to honor the Bannisters? This is not the only house the Bannisters lived in in Providence, but it is where they resided when they were most prosperous and well known.