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The 57 properties on this tour were built from 1770. Click on a map marker to see the property name, then click the name to see more. Or, scroll down to see a gallery of all properties. Click any photo to learn more.

Institutional proliferation marked Providence’s ascendency on the eve of the American Revolution. The monumental presence of the Market House, Brown University, and the First Baptist Church not only signaled the community’s emergence as a center of wealth and culture but also established precedence for future growth at the community’s center. Other churches, schools, libraries, and public buildings followed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By the late twentieth century, an institutional corridor stretched from Market Square on the west up to and beyond the crest of College Hill. The density of development on College Hill, however, precluded the introduction of new institutions in the twentieth century, so campuses for new and relocated institutions of higher learning gravitated toward open space on the city’s west side.

This tour is organized into five separate components. The first is organized around the urban campus of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the institutional buildings adjacent to it. The second and third tours focus on Brown University’s campuses. The fourth tour takes the visitor to Providence College; the fifth, to Rhode Island College. Buildings included in these tours are almost exclusively those specifically created for institutional use. Buildings constructed as private residences in the RISD and Brown environs are visited in the tours of their surrounding residential neighborhoods.

– 2003 Guide to Providence Architecture

© 2023 Guide to Providence Architecture. All rights reserved. Design by J. Hogue at Highchair designhaus, with development & support by Kay Belardinelli.