The Athenaeum ( 1838) is a gem of the city as well, its greek temple style is met by its warm interior of wooden floors, comfortably leather chairs and high ceilings. The Athenaeum is a private library, however it is open to the public to research and read books, as long as they don't take them out. Historically it was a great meeting point for artists and writers. Edgar Allen Poe fell in love with the Providence Poet, Sarah Helen Whitman in this greek style library. She accepted his proposal, but later called it off because he could stop drinking. Despise his promise he was found drunk on the night before the wedding so that was that. The picture shows the drawer System for the decimal Cards. About 50000 of them handwritten by one Librarian over decades.
This is the Old Brick School House ( ca. 1769) By 1800, Rhode Island had one of the earliest public education systems, housed in this building. In its long history as host to innovative educational initiatives, it served as a school for African American student, an early fresh air school for children suffering for tuberculosis, and site of the Meeting Street School, a pioneering organization for children of all mental and physical abilities.
Providence Art Club, this fun building is slightly of balance and is the first thing you see at this Square. It's a club created by the tight-knit artist and collector community. It gives them a space to congregate, create and display their art. Fun fact: it's the second oldest Art Club in the country. The club occupies 4 Buildings but the on on the picture is the most interesting to me. The flour-de-lys Style and colour make it worthy of an Art Club. H.P. Lovecraft however found it revolting and set his horror story "The Call of Cthulhu" ( 1926) there.
Providences other creative side is the Rhode Islands School of Design, and is housed in one beautiful Building.
Roger Williams, founder of Providence, cast out of Massachusetts for his "new and dangerous ideas" . He was a strong believer in religious freedom and the separation between State and Church. He received the land to found Providence from the Narragansett Indians that settled in that area. They gave him winter camp after he left Boston to find new land to settle.As far as I learned he lived in good relations with the natives and was a student of Native American languages. His wish was to build a community where a person could think, worshipping act in accordance with their own conscience without fear of persecution by the government. This spiritual and intellectual paradise to some was considered a hotbed of heresy to others. Rhode Island was in the midst of states that prosecuted this kind of thinking. Just a few hours north people were being hung for this mindset.
The Rhode Island State House, on Capitol Hill, was build by the Architect Firm of McKim, Mead and White who also build the Boston Library and renovated the White House (1902). It seems to me that the smallest State has something to compensate... The self supporting Dome is the 4th largest in the world after St. Peter's Basilica, the Taj Mahal and the Minnesota State Capitol. On the top of the Dome is a gold Stature called Hope. The Independent Man represents freedom and independence and alludes to the independent spirit which led Roger Williams to settle and establish Providence and later Rhode Island.
I found this curious adornment on a Building, maybe a homage on Providnce's sea merchant days?
The oldest (1828) indoor mall in America. Housing a locally owned coffee shop, a P.H. Lovecraft bookshop, a Vintage shop and maybe 2 or 3 more.
I walked all day and enjoyed myself immensely. In the evening I met up with Matt and some more for dinner. On the way there a sketchy character stopped us and offered us cockles fresh from the boat. Did not expect that. More Adventures await me tomorrow.