The Handy House is not the home of a famous person—Washington did not sleep here! Yet the story of the people who lived here provides an extraordinary window into a world of ordinary lives that is otherwise lost to history. As you walk through this…

The Bell School was built in 1841 as a school for District No. 14, on the west side of the river. There was evidently some jealousy aroused in the other school districts when the residents of the Head of Westport decided to build so magnificent a…

Charles Dowler was born in Birmingham, England in 1841, and came to America in 1863 to make munitions for the Union effort during the Civil War. After the war ended, Dowler embraced the “American Dream,” deciding to abandon his profession as a…

Imagine this building as the central location for industry and modernity in 19th-century Providence. Picture a tangle of railroad tracks and constant motion, with engineers and manufacturers working hard to support (arguably) the most important place…

Though the area around it has changed over the years, Providence City Hall remains a constant in downtown Providence. Constructed in the 1870s, the cast iron and masonry structure witnessed the evolution of Exchange Place into Kennedy Plaza, two…

It is said that every Rhode Islander visits the Biltmore Hotel at least once. Opened in June of 1922, the Biltmore immediately became a significant hub for social activity in downtown Providence, a legacy that continues today. Its elegant halls have…

The yellow-brick, copper-crenellated Providence Armory, one of the most monumental structures in the city, anchors this historic neighborhood of wood-frame buildings and tree-lined streets. Owned by the State of Rhode Island and partially occupied…

Repurposing older structures is a tenet of historic preservation. Here the West Broadway Neighborhood Association practices what it preaches. Since 1983, the WBNA has been one of the strongest and most active neighborhood associations in the city.…

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…

Pardon Gray Preserve has about 160 acres of mixed hardwoods that, when added to the adjacent Weetamoo Woods and Pocasset Ridge, is a highly valuable continuous canopy forest region. Within this forest are significant stands of a rare “coastal…

Until the early 19th century, it was common for farms to include a family cemetery. Later, as industrialization took over and people moved into towns and cities, family cemeteries were supplanted by larger, centralized municipal cemeteries. The…

The Chace-Cory House, built around 1730 by Benjamin or Abner Chace, witnessed the passing of many Tiverton generations by its front door. Once a lonely house, it has seen nearly 300 years of change at Four Corners. Its floorboards are well-worn by…

Step through the doors of the Modern Diner, slide into a window booth or snag a stool at the counter, and order two eggs, toast, and a side of hash browns. Order up!In 1940, the Modern Diner opened on Dexter Street in downtown Pawtucket. Patrons…

Rhode Island has a long history of industrial manufacturing. Slater Mill, on the banks of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is considered  the “birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.” By the early 1800s, that fervor for…