Filed Under Architecture

Thomas S. and Vincent Luongo Memorial Square

A Revitalized Public Space

Luongo Memorial Square was named in honor of Thomas S. and Vincent Luongo, World War I veterans who lived nearby. Before the name change in 1938, this was Decatur Square and is today a rare space in the city that evokes 19th century city life. The confluence of Fountain and Carpenter echoes the organic flow of streets and squares in early Providence. Hidden behind the major thoroughfares of Broadway and Westminster, these smaller squares often housed the working class. When the industrial bottom dropped out of Providence, many left these dense neighborhoods for the suburbs. Homes were abandoned to decay and corruption. Organizations like the WBNA and the Providence Revolving Fund served as advocates and change-makers, working hard with public and private partners to reanimate this once-moribund public space. Take a look at the before and after photos. Through research, WBNA Executive Director Kari Lang discovered that a horse fountain once adorned the square and commissioned one of similar design to recreate the aesthetic of old Providence in this now dynamic part of the city.

Images

Decatur (Luongo) Square
Decatur (Luongo) Square This photo shows Luongo Square in the 1920s when it was called Decatur Square.
Luongo Square
Luongo Square This photograph shows the Luongo Square and the Avery Pettis building in the 1970s.
Luongo Square in the 21st Century
Luongo Square in the 21st Century Luongo Square can be seen here around the year 2000, with many derelict and abandoned buildings surrounding the square. Try and find this building today! Date: 2000
A Building in Luongo Square
A Building in Luongo Square This is another building from the square at the beginning of its renovation. Compare this photo with the building of today. Date: 2000

Location

18 Luongo Square, Providence, RI 02903

Metadata

Taylor M. Polites, “Thomas S. and Vincent Luongo Memorial Square,” Rhode Tour, accessed June 13, 2024, https://rhodetour.org/items/show/174.