Attend services at this English decorated style church. Built in 1862 in open fields, the stone building is now in the center of Brown University located on the East Side of Providence. A peaceful country church feeling pervades the atmosphere of this gothic Middle Age structure. Music of the liturgy drifts into the high alcoves of Our Lady's Chapel. The Chapel affords east and west views, a reminder of parish diversity at St. Stephens. Daily Services, small weddings and funerals are held in the Chapel.
The Providence Athenaeum is one of America's oldest member-supported libraries and it has functioned as such since 1753 (though the present structure was built in 1838). According to 19th-century legend, the poet Edgar Allen Poe courted Sarah Whitman in the stacks of this granite Greek Revival building. Some of the collections include documents and books from the original Providence Library, rare editions from American authors like Louisa May Alcott and Herman Melville along with the Robert Burns collection, which has more than 400 items. Today, the Athenaeum hosts events throughout the year with a focus on education for both adults as well as children.
Riverwalk & Waterplace Park is pegged against the confluence of the Woonasquatucket and Providence rivers in a little corner of downtown Providence. It's best known for its WaterFire events, which are mini-bonfires that bob atop the water to the beat of world and classical music. The city revitalized the entire area in 1994 and the walk makes an otherwise droll stroll into a pleasant one when walking to College Hill over the Washington Street bridge. The park's bridges are fashioned after those classical ones in Venice, and it's not uncommon to see gondoliers gliding under them.
Destroyed once by fire and rebuilt in the 19th century, this striking pale stone and wood edifice attracts visitors strolling historic Benefit Street. The Gothic-looking spire rises tall above this corner of College Hill, with its handsome black-faced clock, and the church bells can be heard tolling through a portion of the East Side. The services at the First Unitarian Church start on Sundays from 10.30am.
Federal Hill has one of the most varied and historic reputations as a neighborhood could have in any city. Today it's filled with ritzy bars, restaurants, shops, apartments and entertainment, though it was not always this way. Situated in the heart of the city, this neighborhood is known for its rich Italian-American population. The Italian-Americans here have contributed immensely over the centuries to the development and betterment of the city. The many Italian restaurants here offer delectable food to patrons throughout the year. As you walk down Atwells Avenue, you'll definitely know where you are when you see La Pigna (the pine cone) under the gateway arch.
WaterFire is a magnificent array of more than 80 mini bonfires or braziers that illuminate the three rivers of Providence. It began in 1994 when artist Barnaby Evans used the confluence of the rivers to create this ephemeral water exhibition. However, it was not that fleeting because the city of Providence along with generous volunteers and donors continues to present the exhibition every weekend. The route runs from Waterplace Park to South Main Street and it winds nearly two-thirds of a mile through parks and public spaces in downtown Providence. Here, people can stroll along the riverbanks while listening to the sounds of classical music hum over loudspeakers. The fires are lit approximately 20 minutes after sunset each Saturday and usually burn for two to three hours.
The First Baptist Church in America is quite literally the primogenitor of all the subsequent congregations across the nation for this particular denomination of Protestantism. It was constructed in 1775 and like many other buildings in College Hill, it played a significant part in the development of both Colonial America as well as Providence. The church was also the impetus behind Brown University and its relocation from nearby Warren in 1770 (even though the building did not exist, the clerical bureaucracy still had considerable clout). In fact, the university still holds undergraduate commencement ceremonies inside the church's Meeting Hall every Fall. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and today its open to the public for services on Sunday as well as more tourist-oriented visits during the week.
Stretching from Main Street in the northern part of College Hill to Alves Way in the neighborhood of Fox Point, this street is also called the 'Mile of History'. Benefit Street has been a catalyst in the history of the city and state. Along the way, visitors will see many Victorian and Colonial homes as well as the campus of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The street is dotted with other historical attractions like the Providence Athenaeum, the First Baptist Church in America and the anachronistic John Brown and Nightingale Houses. If you choose to walk yourself, the Providence Preservation Society provides free pamphlets in order to guide you down the street.
Built in 1762, and renovated several times over the years, the Old State House is not only a historical building, but it is also an important city landmark. Built in the brick Georgian-style by the state, the building was home to numerous meetings of the colonial and state legislatures. It also served as the courthouse for a considerable period of time. If you are in the mood to get a glimpse of a slice of history, certainly head to the Old State House in College Hill.
College Hill is a prominent district in Providence. Filled with college campuses and shopping areas this unique location is filled with many things to do and see. Tourists and visitors can visit the Thayer Street and Wickenden Street which are hot spots for college students as you can find many restaurants, cafes and many stores and galleries to shop from. Cruising along these streets you can find many vendors and street musicians entertaining the people. There are also many theaters which show movies and also plays. This is the perfect locality to walk, eat, drink and shop.
In 1764, three men from Newport established 'The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations'. For the sake of brevity, it was shortened to Brown University in 1804. It is one of the original eight Ivy League Colleges. Standing strong ever since its inception in 1764, Brown University boasts an excellent educational offering which spans diverse disciplines including engineering, design, ancient studies, archaeology, academics and sciences among others. However, the university bears as much brilliance in its architecture as it does in its academics. Its campus is laden with exceptional examples of late 18th-century architecture residing around the Wriston and Simmons quadrangles, as well as those on the Pembroke College campus, and along Benefit Street. The college remains one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States.