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Jan 21, 2007, 7:51 PM
My urban planning class from McGill is planning a trip to Boston and Providence mid April. I am charged with finding information on Providence. So I ask you:
1. what are the must-see-sights for an urban planner in fair Providence?
2. ideas of cheap places to stay downtown (and I mean cheap--100$ tops a night)
Thanks for the info.
Jan 22, 2007, 1:26 AM
College Hill area is a must see on the east side of town. It is just outside downtown near Brown University and beyond. Pretty easy to find. There is a nice overlook park you want to look out for too, that offers a great view of the city.
Also check out Federal Hill, an Italian area to the West of downtown. Some of the others areas around there are kind of shoddy, but may be interesting.
The south side of town is kind of rough, so you may want to know where you are going if you venture around those parts.
The city has done some incredible work downtown, almost a complete makeover in terms of retail and bringing the river back from the dead. Previously the river was covered with parking and the downtown bisected by an ugly railyard. There is now a large mall and some other amenities in the area. The State Capital Building is highly visable and worth a look. Sorry that I can't provide more specifics. There is some very interesting history to the projects that were undertaken downtown so you might want to read up on that before you visit.
Providence is pricey for central city accomodations if I remember correctly.
If you get a chance, Newport, RI is beautiful and the towns Fall River and New Bedford in southern Massachusetts might be a stop of interest to planners. Also, both Salem and Lowell, MA are very historical and interesting places.
Good luck and enjoy.
Jan 22, 2007, 4:05 AM
I had been to Providence numerous times but had truly never explored the city...I went last summer.
In addition to downtown as mentioned earlier is College Hill which is home to Brown and RISD. This area reminds me of a mix of the Back Bay in Boston and Nantucket.
Atwells Avenue also adjacent to downtown is the heart of the city's still prevalent Little Italy...theres even an Italian Hotel....Hotel Dolce Vita.
A little gritty but intresting was Olneyville which is home to numerous former factories that are being renovated into lofts, retail space and office space.
Jan 24, 2007, 2:40 AM
thank you very much for the info guys.
I should have asked also whether making the trip down to Providence makes sense if we are already spending four days in Boston. I have heard lots of nice things about Providence so I would say yes, but in your opinion is it too much like Boston?
Jan 28, 2007, 4:56 PM
NO! Personally I dont think its to much like Boston because Providence has retained a lot of its historic buildings which gives it a lot of charm. Yes there is a mall downtown with the regular shops but get out and explore the city and see what its all about.
The campuses of Brown and RISD on College Hill are amazing, Atwells Avenue Little Italy rivals Mulberry Street in Manhattan, The State Capital is a gem as well as City Hall, the river has been brought back to the center of the city and for architects there are a mix of old and new skyscrapers
Jan 28, 2007, 11:36 PM
federal hill (little italy)
hope street area
wander from state house to college hill and explore downtown
also check out the jewelry district (warehouses)
check out bristol and newport as well
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