While Providence is a small city, it is filled to the brim with awesome architecture! Here are a few of the many beautiful buildings Providence has to offer:
1. Fleur-de-lys Studios:
Designed by Sydney Burleigh and Edmund R. Willson in 1885, the Fleur-de-lys Studios is located at 7 Thomas Street in the College Hill neighborhood of Providence. This art studio was dubbed a National Historic Landmark in 1992.
2. The First Baptist Church in America
Previously known as The First Baptist Meetinghouse, the First Baptist Church was erected in 1774. Before founding the church, Roger Williams would hold religious services in his home. Today, the site hosts concerts, talks, and lectures and is often noted for its witty messages on the sign outside. Brown University also holds commencement services here. It is located at 75 North Main Street near the College Hill neighborhood.
3. Granoff Center for the Arts
The Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University was designed by Diller Scofidio and Charles Renfro. The building opened its doors during the Spring Semester of 2011 and today aims to advance students’ abilities to learn, create, and share. Some of the building’s many features include a sustainable green roof, an outdoor auditorium, and multiple media and physical media labs for students.
4. Providence Athenaeum
In 1753, a group of private citizens started a book collection to have access to books they otherwise could not afford. That collection has since grown and is now know as the Providence Athenaeum. This independent membership library on Benefit St. has thousands of books for all ages and interests. In addition to their books, the Athenaeum also rents out their very own building space! You could rent the art room, a conference hall, or the entire building for your personal or business events.
5. The Dorrance
Previously a bank, The Dorrance restaurant offers an elegant and timeless dining experience. The building is decorated with elaborate stained glass windows featuring the family crests of important names in banking. The restaurant features an extensive alcohol, appetizer, dinner, and dessert menu for all to enjoy. The building is also a perfect venue for parties of all sizes from intimate dinners to full-sized wedding parties!
6. The Biltmore Hotel
Designed by the Warren and Wetmore Architectural Firm, the Biltmore Hotel is the 9th tallest building in Providence. The building was closed and vacant for quite a while after Hurricane Carol but has since been up and running. The hotel offers a sophisticated and modern stay for its guests and was even featured in the film 27 Dresses. Some of the hotel’s many amenities include an on-site steak and seafood restaurant, a full-service salon, and a 19,000 square foot ballroom.
7. Superman Building
Formally known as the Industrial Trust Building, this spot is the tallest building in the city of Providence and the 28th tallest building in New England. The building was opened in 1927 during the inter-war period and was designed using the popular Art-Deco style. It is rumored that the building was the model for the Daily Planet featured in early Superman comics. The building has also appeared in the animated sitcom Family Guy.
8. Ladd Observatory
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, this observatory can be found at Brown University. It was built by the Stone, Carpenter & Wilson Company and features a 112 year old 12-inch refractor for observation. The Ladd Observatory is perfect for spotting deep sky wonders like the moon, Orion’s Nebula, and star clusters. This space will take you a step back in time and a step into the future all at once!
9. Rhode Island State House
Built in 1904, the Rhode Island State House is home to the Rhode Island General Assembly and the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and general treasurer. The building was one of the first public spaces to ever use electricity and now, often dons the colors of important events and memorandums in the city, like pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month or gold for the Tomorrow Fund. The building appeared in the films Amistad and Underdog.
10. Turks Head Building
Built in 1913, the Turks Head Building is one of Providence’s oldest buildings and for a while was the tallest! The architects modeled the v-shaped office building’s design after the infamous Flat Iron Building in New York City. The Turks Head Building derives its name from the figurehead mounted at the front of the building depicting an Ottoman warrior from a previous owner’s ship The Sultan.
11. Dunkin Donuts Center
Admirably called “The Dunk”, this indoor arena located in downtown Providence was built in 1972. Today it houses Providence College’s men’s basketball team and the Providence Bruins. In addition to athletics, the venue has also hosted music legends including Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, and the Jacksons.
12. Providence Performing Arts Center
Previously the Loew’s State Movie Palace, the building opened in 1928. Today the PPAC hosts Broadway shows, concerts, and film showings. The theater has seating for over 3,000 and is located in the heart of Providence’s arts and entertainment district.
13. Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
The Botanical Center in Roger Williams Park features over 150 different varieties of plants. With approximately 12,000 square feet, the Botanical Center is the largest indoor garden open to the public. The space features two connected green houses, a waterfall, and a fish pond, and was named the best Urban Oasis in its first year of operation in 2007.
14. Avon Cinema
The Avon Cinema was built on Providence’s historic Thayer Street in 1938. The building was designed using the popular Art Deco architectural style and provides location shootings, screenings, and premieres. The theatre is known for its foreign, independent, and art house films.
15. Strive Realty
Located at 556 Smith Street, Strive Realty was founded in 2013 and aim for the pursuit of exceptional service. Strive offers beautiful homes, apartments, and units for rent and for sale. The team at Strive works to find its clients comfortable, affordable and safe housing to meet their unique needs. Come by the office or schedule an appointment to see what we have available near your favorite places in Providence!