Completed in 1775, the Market House served as a market and town hall for Colonial Providence. Over the years, the Market House witnessed two of the largest natural disasters to hit Providence; the Great Gale of 1815 and the Hurricane of 1938. The Great Gale brought an 11-foot storm surge, which is memorialized at the Market House, as it was one of the only buildings to remain standing. The Hurricane of 1938 was the largest modern disaster to affect downtown Providence, remembered through hurricane markers located downtown today. John Hutchins Cady rehabilitated the building in the late 1930s to house classrooms for the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).