Monday, November 27, 2006

The Houses of Benefit Street in Providence

This morning I caught the 8:30 a.m. double decker commuter rail to Providence, Rhode Island. The Roger Williams National Memorial visitor's center is just a ten minute walk from the train station. A very helpful ranger suggested that I take a self-guided tour of nearby Benefit Street. The $3 guide book was extremely helpful and rich with architectural information. There were so many houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries. One handsome brightly painted house next to another with a few Italianate brownstones intermingled.

There were so many gems that I only admired a small section of Benefit Street and I have decided to return soon. In the Old State House I was allowed to look at the room where the Rhode Island constitution was ratified. Walked by the first Baptist Church on North Main Street. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams on the principle of true religious freedom for many faiths. Providence had the first Baptist Church in the United States. The Truro Synagogue in Newport was founded in the mid 18th century, and is still holding services.


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