Quick Trips

April 13, 2013

Providential revival in a New England downtown

Even at the tender age of 18, I was smitten with Providence’s charming and historic East Side, particularly mile-long Benefit Street, still touted by tourism officials as “the most impressive concentration of original colonial homes in America.” But way back then, in the summer of 1972, the advice had been universal: “Stay away from downtown,” a blight-stricken, commercial-industrial hodge-podge all too reminiscent of my native Cleveland.

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