HISTORY OF PROVIDENCE
Founded by Roger Williams in 1636, Providence is the capital of Rhode Island and one of the oldest states in America. It is also one of the largest cities in New England, falling in third behind Boston and Worcester. As one of the first cities in the United States to industrialize, it was known for its manufacturing industries. Today, seven institutions of higher learning – including Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Brown University and Providence College – have shifted Providence’s economy away from manufacturing and into service industries. Within the last decade, the city has begun to re-brand itself by emphasizing the affluent colleges/universities and art community.
THINGS TO DO & SEE IN PROVIDENCE
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Art Museum
Composed of seven departments – Ancient Art, Asian Art, Contemporary Art, Costume & Textiles, Decorative Arts& Design, Painting & Sculpture, and Prints, Drawings & Photographs – and displays about 100,000 objects of art and design throughout the museum.
John Brown House Museum
The Brown family, the namesake for Brown University, was one of the wealthiest families in the United States around the end of the 18th century. In 1788, John Brown built the John Brown House. Today you can take guided or audio tours of their mansion.
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Home to more than 100 species of animals, visitors have the opportunity to see animals from all over the globe. You can even feed giraffes, harbor seals and various farmyard animals! Their new Explore and Soar area offers zip rides, train excursions through the woodlands, and camel rides.
Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC)
The Providence Performing Arts Center presents a full roster of touring Broadway theatricals and contemporary engagements. Opening in October of 1928, the theater endured hurricane damages in 1938 and 1954. Renovations were done in the late-1990s to restore PPAC to its former glory.
First Fire was created in 1994 by Barnaby Evans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence. After Evans created Second Fire for the International Sculpture Conference in 1996, he was convinced to create a permanent, on-going fire installation by supporters. WaterFire is a nonprofit art organization with hundreds of volunteers, staff and donors. Today, over 80 bonfires are lit during WaterFire celebrations.
Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox) – McCoy Stadium
Named in Honor of Thomas P. McCoy, Mayor of Pawtucket from 1936-1945, McCoy Stadium is now home to the Pawtucket Red Sox, a Minor league Triple-A affiliate team of the Boston Red Sox. With games starting every Spring, a Pawtucket Red Sox game is a New England classic.