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State Library
State House, 2nd floor
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2473
Fax: (401) 222-3034
TTY: 711

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Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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A Federal Depository since 1791 and An Official Federal Depository Library since 1913

Landmarks

Aerial view of Providence

Aerial View of Providence

The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum is a private library and is designed in classic Greek style. In 1831, it was originally established, but it wasn't until 1836 when it collaborated with the Providence Library Company that plans for this building began to take shape. William Strickland, a nationally renowned architect, designed the Athenaeum. This is the only building in all of New England that he designed. Historically, the building has a significant place in the literary scene of Providence; both H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe were found here frequently.

Arnold House

Arnold House

The Arnold House is one of the oldest houses in Rhode Island, built by Eleazor Arnold in 1687. A "stone-ender", it is a rare find in New England, as it is one of the only ones still intact. The House is characterized by the large stone chimney that takes up almost an entire end of the house.

Barrington Town Hall

Barrington Town Hall

In 1887, Barrington Town Hall was built in medieval style and is flanked by two towers on either side. Over a century later, the building still functions as the Barrington Town Hall.

Beavertail

Beavertail

Beavertail is a rocky area of rugged coast that divides the East and West Passages of Narragansett Bay. It is on the Atlantic Ocean and is on the southernmost part of Jamestown. The lighthouse that is currently on Beavertail was constructed in 1856.

Betsey Williams Cottage

Betsey Williams Cottage

Betsey Williams, the great-great-great granddaughter of Roger Williams, donated the land on which Roger Williams Park was built. The cottage was built in 1773, and was the homestead that Betsey's grandfather had built on this land.

Butler Hospital

Butler Hospital

The only nonprofit, private hospital for psychiatric and substance abuse problems, Butler has been named one of the top ten psychiatric facilities in the United States.

Captain Stephen Olney Home

This house was home to Captain Stephen Olney, a native of Rhode Island and an army captain who led troops in the Battle of Yorktown.

Claiborne Pell Bridge

Claiborne Pell Bridge

Formerly known as the Newport Bridge

Built in 1969, this is a suspension bridge connecting Newport to Jamestown. Prior to the bridge's construction, there were ferries that made the trip between the two. The Bridge was a struggle to build, as the pilings had to be dug into the rock extremely deep. It is supported by 56 piers and was, at the time of its completion, the longest bridge in New England. It is named after former Rhode Island senator Claiborne Pell.

Commodore Matthew C. Perry Statue

Commodore Matthew C. Perry Statue

In Touro Park

Born in South Kingstown in 1794, Matthew C. Perry became a Lieutenant by 1813, a Captain by 1837, and achieved the rank of Commodore by 1842. Among his many accomplishments, Commodore Perry is best known for establishing a trade agreement with Japan, which guaranteed an alliance of sorts between Japan and the United States.

Cranston Street Armory

Cranston Street Armory

The Armory was built in 1907 and designed as a typical armory tends to be: granite, brick, and fortress-like. It is currently home to the Rhode Island National Guard.

Edward Carrington House

The Edward Carrington House is an outstanding building that was built in 1810. Edward Carrington was a wealthy Providence merchant who purchased the house from its original builder, John Corliss. The house then stayed in the Carrington family for three generations. A family member donated the house in 1936 to the Rhode Island School of Design's Museum of Art. It returned to a private home in 1961 and remains so today. It is considered one of Providence's greatest architectural monuments.

First Baptist Meeting House

First Baptist Meeting House

Built in 1775, this is a National Historic Landmark and the first Baptist Church in America. The church can seat over 1400 people, which, in 1775, was more than a third of Providence's population. It is considered one of Providence's most significant 18th century buildings.

Fort Adams

Fort Adams played an important role as a military base and protector of the fleet in Narragansett Bay.

Fort Barton

Fort Barton

Fort Barton dates back to the Revolutionary War, and is the location where troops prepared for many battles, including the Battle of Rhode Island.

Fort Ninigret

Fort Ninigret is in Ninigret Park, on a bluff that overlooks Ninigret Pond in Charlestown. It is kept today in remembrance of the Niantic and Narragansett Indians, as it was once an important trading area for Native Americans.

George Hail Free Library

George Hail Free Library

This library is named after George Hail, a Warren native. Born in 1793, Hail was a philanthropist, industrialist, and merchant. Martha Hail, George's widow, made large contributions to the library in 1882 when it was being rebuilt, and, subsequently, it was named after her late husband. It contains a museum, which has many early relics of Warren that have significant historical value to the city.

Gilbert Stuart's Birthplace

Gilbert Stuart birthplace

Gilbert Stuart, often considered the most important 18th century portraitist, was born here in 1755. Stuart painted more than a thousand portraits during his lifetime, including many of the presidents. He is most recognized for his famous portrait of George Washington, which currently hangs in the State House.

Governor Bradford House

Governor Bradford House

Isaac and Elizabeth Royall built this house in 1745. Governor William Bradford lived in this home in later years; Bradford was the deputy governor of Rhode Island as well as a U.S. senator. It is now a Bed & Breakfast.

Historic Benefit Street

Historic Benefit Street

Benefit Street may be only a mile long, but it is considered the most historic street in the city of Providence. Its construction began back in 1765, and it has undergone innumerable changes since then. It remains, however, culturally, architecturally, and historically rich today.

Independent Man

The Independent Man

A bronze statue created by the artist George Brewster, the Independent Man has been standing atop the State House Dome for over one hundred years. Over eleven feet tall and over five hundred pounds, he stands as a symbol of freedom and independence, holding a spear in one hand and having an anchor (a Rhode Island symbol) at his feet.

Interior View of State House Dome

State House Dome

A spectacular architectural work, the State House dome is the fourth largest self-supported dome in the world. At the time it was originally built, it was second in size only to the dome in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Guiteras Memorial School

Guiteras Memorial School

Dr. Ramon Guiteras, a famous urologist, originally of Bristol, left 350,000 dollars in his will for the construction of a junior high school in Bristol. It was specified for the school to resemble the Mark Antony DeWolf House of Poppasquash. The school was opened in 1927 for the fall.

Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge

Jamestown Verrazano Bridge

Opened in 1992, this bridge was built when the older bridge became much too hazardous to drive across. It was built four hundred feet north of the old bridge, and connects North Kingstown and Jamestown.

John Banister House

John Banister House

Built in 1751 and now fully restored, the John Banister House was once home to Captain John Banister, a wealthy merchant who took trading expeditions to such places as India and the Far East. Today, the John Banister House is now rented out to tourists, as well as used as a Bed & Breakfast.

John Brown House

John Brown House

John Brown built this house in 1786, and it today remains one of the city's most significant buildings, architecturally and historically. It was the first of its kind built in the area, as many other three story Federal houses followed. The house was built for John Brown, one of the four Brown brothers, and remained in the Brown, Ives, and Gammel families. In 1902, Marsden J. Perry purchased the house and had it extensively remodeled. Today, the house is kept in top condition and has been used as a museum for the Rhode Island Historical Society since 1941.

John Carter Brown Library

John Carter Brown Library

The John Carter Brown Library is the perfect example of turn of the century Beaux Arts Classicism. A part of Brown University, the crest of Brown University is carved into this building. The library was built and specifically intended to preserve the John Carter Brown collection of Americana.

John Hay Library

John Hay Library

Built in 1910, this library was built in the English Renaissance Style and belongs to Brown University. Brown built the library because they were in need of a larger space; their last library had been built in the 1870s.It was named after John Hay; a highly regarded Brown alumnus, scholar, President Lincoln's secretary, and Secretary of State under both President McKinley and President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1981, this library went through renovation processes to protect their rare books and archives.

Kent County Courthouse

Kent County Courthouse

Formerly East Greenwich Courthouse

In 1803, the Rhode Island Assembly determined that a new courthouse should be built. Subsequently, this was built in 1805. During the 1800s, it served as one of Rhode Island's five statehouses.

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial in the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetary in Exeter was built in honor of all those who were lost in the Korean War. The United States lost 36,940 lives and had over 90,000 injuries. Today, there are still over 8,000 soldiers missing in action.

Lincoln Woods

Lincoln Woods

Today, Lincoln Woods is a state park and one of the most popular spots in Blackstone Valley. In 1909, it was named in honor of President Lincoln, but most developments in this park weren't done until the 1960s and 1970s. It was well known, and still is well known, as a popular bouldering spot.

Mount Hope Bridge and Lighthouse

Mt. Hope Bridge and Lighthouse

Connecting Providence and Newport across Narragansett Bay, this bridge was designed in 1927 and is 1200 feet long. It was originally a private toll bridge; however, it was purchased by the State in 1955.

Mount Hygeia

Mount Hygeia was the home of Doctor Solomon Drowne, a Brown University alum and botany professor. Named for the Greek goddess of health, his home had an exotic botanical garden that he had cultivated himself. He used many of the plants in his garden when creating different medicines.

Nathanael Greene Homestead

Nathanael Greene Homestead

This homestead was built in 1770 and was originally known as Spell Hall. It was the home of General Nathanael Greene from 1770 to 1776. Nathanael Greene was second in command to General George Washington. He was one of only two generals who were involved the entire time with the War for American Independence, the second being Washington. Greene also served as Quartermaster General and was commander of the Southern Department for a time.

Newport Harbor

Newport Harbor

Newport is famous for its historic harbor and the sights within it.

Nightingale-Brown House

Nightingale-Brown House

Built in 1792, this house is said to be the largest wooden house from the 18th century that is still standing. It is considered the last great house in Providence that was designed in the Georgian style. Nightingale was a prominent merchant in Providence who worked hard to complete the house. Shortly after the home's completion, Nightingale died, and his widow sold the house to Nicholas Brown. It has been in the Brown family since 1814, and is today home to the John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University.

Nine Men's Misery Monument

On the grounds of the Monastery

This monument is in remembrance of an occurrence during what is now known as King Philip's War, when the settlers and Native Americans were having violent confrontations. It is here, at the Cistercian Monastery, that Native Americans killed Captain Michael Pierce and his eight men.

Old Irons House

Old Irons House

Thomas Clemence built the Old Irons House in 1655. The house went through a succession of Clemences, followed by three generations in the Angell family, and eventually was sold to the Iron family, who passed it through three generations as well. Henry Sharpe purchased the house in 1938 and restored the home to its original condition. Today, it still stands, having important historical value.

Old Narragansett Church

Old Narragansett Church

Built in 1707 and relocated in 1800, this is the oldest building in Wickford. It has not been structurally altered, and the majority of the original interior fixings are still intact. The church also possesses an English chamber organ dating back to the 1680s, which is considered very rare.

Old State House

Old State House

Built in 1762, this two and a half story brick building was created in replacement of the Colony House, which burned down in 1758. It was modeled after the Colony House in Newport, built in 1739. It was in this building that a declaration of independence from England was announced by the State of Rhode Island. After the current State House was built, this building housed the Sixth District Court, until 1975.

Old Stone Mill

Old Stone Mill

One of the oldest structures in the United States that is still standing, its origin is uncertain. There are various theories on the origin of the Old Stone Mill. It is said that it is the ruin of a windmill that was built by Governor Arnold during his administration. Another theory believes that it is the remains of a Norse church. Though its beginnings are a controversy, it does serve as an important historical landmark.

Point Judith Lighthouse

Point Judith Lighthouse

The current lighthouse is the second to be built on this spot, as the first was destroyed in 1815 by a hurricane. Today's lighthouse is an octagonal building that was built in 1816 and stands fifty-one feet tall.

Pomham Light

Pomham Light

The Pomham Light was built in 1871 on a gathering of rocks in the East Providence River. Today, it still remains in the spot it did over a century ago.

Providence City Hall

Providence City Hall

A monumental building, Providence City Hall was built during Mayor Thomas Doyle's administration. It was specifically designed in an imitation of Boston's Old City Hall, built in the 1860s. City Hall underwent an extensive restoration process in 1975. It symbolizes 19th century civic pride, and the renewal of this pride in the 20th century.

Prudence Crandall Birthplace

This house is the birthplace of Prudence Crandall, to her two Quaker parents. Crandall was a teacher and abolitionist who became a strong fighter in the cause of equal education of African Americans. Crandall opened a school that allowed African American girls; however, the community fought her aggressively. Crandall was eventually forced to close the school, but her strong efforts in equal rights are of significant historic importance.

Providence Place Mall

Providence Place Mall

Spanning a highway, train tracks, and a river, the Providence Place Mall is an impressive building, both in size and architectural detail. It stretches 13 acres and includes 150 stores, cinemas, restaurants, and the like.

Purgatory Chasm

Purgatory Chasm

Purgatory Chasm was formed over thousands and thousands of years by the erosion of the ocean. It is a narrow space that is found between two sharp rock ledges, and is an interesting site of the wonders of nature.

Redwood Farm

Home to Abraham Redwood and his family, this house was built in 1766. Redwood was a wealthy Quaker, as well as a merchant, philanthropist, and ship owner. In the botanical garden he created at the Farm, there are many carefully cultivated rare and exotic plants and flowers.

Roger Williams Monument

Roger Williams Monument

Located in Roger Williams Park, this monument memorializes Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island and strong defender of religious freedom. Roger Williams had fled his home due to religious persecution. He founded Providence in 1636, and established a land that would be democratic and completely religiously tolerant.

Sakonnet Point Lighthouse

Sakkonet Point Lighthouse

Completed in 1884, the Sakonnet Point Lighthouse was active until 1954, when it was abandoned following Hurricane Carol. The Coast Guard was convinced to relight it again, in 1997. It is still lit today, and its light flash can be seen for approximately seven nautical miles.

Shannock Falls

Shannock Falls

Shannock Falls, now a picturesque spot, holds important historical significance. Here, the Pequot and Narragansett Indians fought brutally for possession of fishing rights of the area.

Scituate Reservoir

Scituate Reservoir

Slater Mill

Slater Mill

Built by Samuel Slater in 1793, this was the world's first cotton mill that was successfully water powered. This mill was the reason Pawtucket flourished in the textile industry for over one hundred and fifty years.

South Light and Cliffs

South Light and Cliffs

With bluffs rising sharply two hundred feet above the ocean, stretching over an expanse of three miles, the South Light and cliffs are a magnificent site. The lighthouse holds one of the most powerful lights found on the East Coast of the United States.

The State House

The State House

Often considered Rhode Island's most recognizable and prominent building, the State House was built in 1895 and was the eighth state house to be built in Rhode Island. The State House overlooks Downtown Providence and can be seen from many points around the city. It remains as a statement of what it meant at the time it was built, when Rhode Island was one of the wealthiest, most prosperous states in the country.

Sullivan-Dorr House

Built in 1809 by John Holden Greene, this stands as a very important Providence landmark. It was built upon Roger Williams' house lot, and is located at the original burial site of Williams, the city's founder. Thomas Wilson Dorr, the significant figure in the Dorr Rebellion, was the son of Sullivan. The house was left to the Providence Preservation Society by one of Dorr's descendants, and was eventually bought back by a member of the Dorr line and thoroughly restored.

T.F. Green Airport

TF Green Airport

The newly updated airport located in Warwick and the only major Rhode Island airport, this was named for Theodore F. Green, Rhode Island Governor from 1933 to 1937. Green was also a Rhode Island senator.

Temple to Music

Temple to Music

Located in Roger Williams Park, the Temple of Music was designed by William T. Aldrich and built in a neoclassical style using Vermont marble. The gift of an olive oil merchant in the area, the Temple to music dates back to 1924.

Thomas Poynton Ives House

The Poynton Ives House, built in 1806, is a large, three story, Federal House. It's similar in design to the John Brown House; however, the differences in style, due to the fact that the Poynton Ives House was built twenty years later, are apparent. Thomas Ives had been apprenticed to Nicholas Brown and married the Brown daughter, Hope. Through the years, this home has descended through the Ives and Goddard families.

Thomas Wilson Dorr Monument

Thomas Dorr was a leader in the fight for universal male suffrage, and fought for a new, fairer constitution for Rhode Island. He became the principle author of the new state constitution, and was elected governor under it. When Dorr's rebellion failed, he fled into exile; Dorr returned years later only to be forced back into exile. He was eventually convicted of treason, but only served one year in prison. This monument stands as a representation of Dorr's historical significance.

Trinity Church

Trinity Church

Trinity Church was built in 1726 and consisted of Anglicans and Huguenots who had come to Rhode Island in search of religious freedoms. The parishioners first gathered in 1698, making this the oldest parish in Rhode Island.

Updike House

Updike House

Also known as the Smith Garrison House, the original building was burned to the ground by Native Americans during what is now known as King Philip's War. The present house was built two years after the destruction of the first. John Updike, a renowned novelist, was native to the Rhode Island area and resided in this house for a number of years.

Watch Hill Light

Watch Hill Light

The original lighthouse was built in 1807 and lasted until the 1850s. Thomas Jefferson had authorized the original construction of a lighthouse. This spot on Watch Hill was used as a lookout point for American colonists during the Revolutionary War. The British also used it during the French and Indian War. The current lighthouse was built in 1856 and stands forty-five feet tall.

Waterfire

Waterfire

Created by the artist Barnaby Evans, Waterfire was first performed in 1994 as a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the First Night Providence event. It was done again in 1996 when Evans created it for the International Sculpture Conference. Its popularity was astonishing, and it became a regular fixture in Waterplace Park. It increased to 42 braziers in 1997 and continues today as a beautiful artwork in the city of Providence.

Waterplace Park

Waterplace Park

This four-acre park is impeccably designed and includes Venetian-style footbridges and landscaped cobblestone riverwalks. There is also an amphitheater that encircles a tidal pool. The Park has won a variety of design awards, both national and international.

Whitehall

Whitehall

Dean George Berkeley had this house built in 1729 for his family's stay in Rhode Island. Berkeley was a noted philosopher and would later become an Anglican bishop in Ireland. He and is family lived in Whitehall for only two years, until 1731. The house remains today in honor of Berkeley and his contributions to the Newport area.

World War I Memorial, Miantonomi Park

World War I Memorial

Miantonomi Park was established in 1921 as a memorial for those who had been lost in World War I. It was declared a National Historic Place in 1969. This memorial is one hundred feet tall, with a thirty-foot tall flagpole at the top.