Interstate 95

Cutting Providence in Half

After World War II, Providence's fortunes were shifting. Textile jobs had moved south. Industry was leaving. Jewelry manufacturing went offshore. Between 1950 and 1980, the population of the city declined by a third. These western neighborhoods were hit hard. As part of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System and urban redevelopment efforts, I-95 was cut through here. The redevelopment of the high school campuses also meant significant demolition, leaving few traces of the neighborhood that was. Take a look at the two postcards, one looking eastward into downtown from Cathedral Square, just behind McVinney Auditorium, and the other looking westward up Westminster Street, to get a sense of how these streets and neighborhood once appeared.

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600-672 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903