The highly ravinated topography of the land along the Seekonk River between South Angell Street and the grounds of Butler Hospital makes it unsuitable for real-estate development, despite the picturesque suburban-development plans of Moses Brown Jenkins in the 1860s. Jenkins donated five acres of the hilliest land to the city in 1865, and the city acquired additional parcels into the 1920s. River Road, which parallels the west shore of the Seekonk River, is still one of the city’s most picturesque drives, despite the visually damaging but environmentally correct practice of allowing volunteer vegetation to grow at water’s edge. In 1906 metropolitan Providence’s first regional plan envisioned River Road’s extension all the way into Pawtucket to the north. Little developed, the park nevertheless draws a steady stream of visitors, who enjoy its isolation and solitude.
– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture
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