Postcards from the Past I


  1. Biltmore Hotel, with City Hall and a pretty Exchange Place (Kennedy Plaza)
  2. City Hall, circa 1920
  3. City Hall, 1874
  4. Exchange Place, aka Kennedy Plaza circa 1900
  5. Fire Station in Kennedy Plaza, where the Post Office is now, circa 1900
  6. Horse drawn Fire Truck, with station in the background
  7. the Howard building, 1960s (after the Union Trust bldg below)
  8. The Normal School, a teaching school, precursor to RIC
  9. the original Providence Journal building
  10. Slater Mill panarama, with Lebanon Mills (Riverside Lofts) to the right
  11. St Peter’s Church
  12. Union Station, with the Normal School behind it, where the Mall is now
  13. Union Station 2
  14. Union Trust buildings, 1900s, now known as the Federal Reserve building
  15. Weybosset Street, in its colorful heyday

I’ve been scouring Ebay for postcards of Rhode Island for awhile now, until I had enough of a collection to post. So here they are. More will be added as I get them. If anyone wants to tell me something about them more specifically, just email us. Thanks for looking.

Al Rodgers Jul 28 2014 Picture#15. I was 13 in 1953 and would go to Lowe's State by myself for a feature, cartoon and news reel. You could stay in the theater and watch the feature a second time if you liked. The squat building in the street in front of Lowe's is a public rest room. Men down one set of stairs and women the other side down the stairs. You can see the WJAR radio station tower to the left of the Lowe's sign. WJAR was owned by the Outlet Company a general department store just down the street. My wife learned to swim at The Plantation Club just a few blocks up the street from Lowe's - now the site of Johnson & Wales. The Industrial Trust Bank is the large yellow/white building to the left. That's a UER bus to the very right.

Pete Falina April 8, 2008 In picture #2, immediately to the left of City Hall, you can see SS Kresge’s. Those big signs are long gone, as is the Kresge store, but the next time you pass, look up near the roofline. There is still KRESGE carved in a granite block.

Dan The Union Trust building in picture 14 is at the corner of Dorrance and Westminster and houses the Federal Reserve. You can actually see it in your 1903 photo if you look to the left of the state house. It was at one time the tallest building in downtown Providence

The information about each building grows as visitors let us know about their experiences. Did you or a member of your family work here? Did you grow up near it as a child? Let us know. All entries will be moderated and may be posted in an edited form. We will use your name unless you tell us otherwise. We will not make your email public.

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