A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections at the RIHS

Rooftop Views of Providence

In Early May the library exterior was covered in scaffolding to prepare for the work on the new library roof—no small project.  It has been fascinating to see the progress and to watch the men working in all weather; RAIN OR SHINE, they are up on the roof. We asked one of the crew to take a couple of pictures of the view from above.  Here is what you can see on a sunny day–

From the library roof, looking south, we see Hope Street, and in the distance,  Narragansett Bay and one of the wind turbines at the Port of Providence, off Allens Avenue.

The view towards downtown shows the imposing Victorian residence across the street on Hope and beyond that the towers of downtown Providence.













The Library’s Graphics and Printed Collections have earlier images of the building on Hope Street.  The 1904 image shows the building when it was the Hope Street Methodist Episcopal Church.

Hope Street Methodist Episcopal Church Jubilee Program, 1904. RIHS Printed Collection. The library building was constructed to be a church, and later became a library.

In 1928 the church closed at this location, the steeple was taken down, and it became the Tockwotton Branch Library.  In 1963 the Rhode Island Historical Society purchased the building to open the RIHS Library.

The RIHS Library c. 1963 at 121 Hope Street. Antoinette Downing Collection , RIHS Graphics Collection.


















The slate roof going up this month is meant to last a very long time. The pictures taken in late May give some idea of the scale of the project. The library will continue to have normal open hours for researchers. See our website for more information: www.rihs.org.

The Library roof project is more than just slate, there are repairs to the chimney, new gutters, and the entire library has been power washed to clean the stone and brick of years of city grime.

Removing Roof Slate, South Side

It has taken several weeks to remove the old slate from the library roof and to prepare a new surface.


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This entry was posted on 6 June 2012 by in Collection Notes and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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