Providence at Night

Possibly our favourite mural was this one, right behind our hotel, across the parking lot.

This is a continuation of the last post. I just thought it was a nice theme that a whole bunch of photos are in the dark. It was not very late, but it’s winter, so the sky grows dark about 4:30 and is pitch black by 5 pm.

We continued exploring downtown Providence, walking toward the Providence River past the confluence of Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers. There are paths and parks and overlooks along that part of the rivers. It must be an inviting place to spend time when it isn’t dark and cold.

The inscription reads: “By this memorial the city of Providence commemorates the loyal courage and fidelity of all her citizens who served in the World War whose high example still summons us to love and serve our country” The Rhode Island Superior Court building can be seen behind the memorial.

We came across the World War I Memorial, in Memorial Park. It stands 150 feet high and has a statue representing Peace at the top. It was designed by architect Paul P. Cret and sculpted by Carl P. Jennewien. The memorial names specific battles that involved Rhode Islanders. I like how the quote refers to “the” world war, and not to the first world war. The column was erected in 1929, and thus they did not know what was to come.

Next to the Superior Court is the Old Stone Bank in a rather impressive building.

We began heading up the hill to Brown University, to check out the campus. Also to look for a Student Union building which we knew would be open to wandering strangers and would contain a toilet. We were successful in that endeavor. :o)

This is Hughes Court, which looks like it might be surrounded by student housing.
On the Main Campus Green, with the Senior Administration Building on the left and the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center on the right.
Sayles Hall, center, with Friedman Hall to the right.
A curious piece of art called Idee di Pietra

In the dark we could have sworn this cast bronze sculpture called Idee di Pietra was an actual tree because the detail is so good, but it is made of metal. It does hold a real river stone in the air. The sculpture was made by Giuseppe Penone in 2006 and is supposed to represent the force of gravity on the natural world, including the human body. It is 27 feet high and that rock supposedly weighs 5000 pounds.

Robinson Hall looks like a church
Probably the most famous landmark of Brown University is the Carrie Tower.

As we left the University Campus to head back down the hill toward the center of Providence, we passed Carrie Tower. The 95-foot tower was a gift from Paul Bajnotti of Italy, and was erected in 1904. It is a memorial to his wife, born as Caroline Brown, who was a granddaughter of Nicholas Brown, for whom the University is named. She died in Italy after 16 years of marriage to Bajnotti. He must have really missed her, because there is an inscription on this memorial that states, “Love is strong as death.” Bajnotti also erected a fountain in Caroline’s memory in another park in Providence.

(Song of Solomon 8:6 “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” King James Version)

On our way down the hill, we approached the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). We saw these security vehicles that cracked me up. I have often heard people use the phrase, “In defense of the arts…”

RISD Public Safety – Defenders of the Arts.
We peeked in the windows of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD and saw these jellyfish.
We stood there for a while in the cold, watching their mesmerizing movements.
Rhode Island School of Design 20 Washington Place
Standing on the bridge and looking back at 20 Washington Place. You can see the steeple from the Oldest Baptist Church in the country behind it. I included a better photo in my last post.

We had now returned to what seemed to me like the center of town. After passing the federal building, we came to Burnside Park, which holds the fountain for Caroline, built by her Italian husband (mentioned above). Adjacent to that park is Biltmore Park with an ice-skating rink. Stretching beside both of those is Kennedy Plaza passenger terminal, filled with many people standing in shelters and waiting for their busses. I don’t have photos of any of it because it was too dark, and the images didn’t look very good. City Hall, and the fabulous historic Biltmore Hotel (boringly renamed after its new owner and now called Graduate Providence) are at the far end, opposite the federal building.

Statue at the Federal Building designed by J. Massey Rhind depicts Providence as Independent Thought, flanked by Industry and Education.

We were not yet ready to end the evening, so we began walking up and down streets that intrigued us, admiring the different architecture one can find in old, East Coast cities that is not common in West Coast cities.

The lights added to the appeal of this prominent building.
Narrow streets are more common in old cities.
The red, green, and gold lights on the Trinity Repertory Theatre seemed specifically Christmas-themed.

Providence has some pretty neat wall art, and soon we were distracted anew, running around and taking nighttime photos of the lit-up murals.

These metal, 3D faces adorned a parking garage.
Finally we returned to The Dean hotel, and approached it from the back, where we spotted this digital octopus, its tentacles spreading out into the parking lot.

2 thoughts on “Providence at Night

  1. I love the night photos because what I really love is light. I love the feel of it. I love the whole idea of illuminating dark places and this was a lovely way to experience your adventure. Nice eye!

    1. When I was very young, I lived in the most rural of places, where the nearest local communities could hardly be called a town. When I was 10 years old, we moved to New Meadows, Idaho, and lived right in the middle of town (population 576). I walked home one night and was astonished to see the city lights at night. The entire town is about four blocks long, and yet it was the biggest city I had ever seen at night. I stood in the middle of the street and gaped at the lights. I’ll never forget that magic. So yeah, I think that might be some of the feeling you are talking about. ❤

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