RIPTA photos from their archive


  1. A view of the old RR station taken from the steps of City Hall (same spot as pic 2 below) circa 1900. The building was right in the middle of what later became “The Mall”. While the old building was still standing the tracks were relocated toward the State House and the new Union Station was built
  2. “The MALL,” which Providence recently renamed the area “Kennedy Plaza” in honor of JFK(1963). The view is looking from the City Hall steps toward College Hill (circa 1906). Background right is the old Central Fire House w/tower, background left is the new Union RR Station’s RAILWAY EXPRESS bldg (note the horses sharing the road with the trolleys and the trolley wait station has not been built)
  3. From Steeple Street, towards City Hall
  4. Old Union Station, circa 1920’s?
  5. Old Union Station, circa 1930’s?
  6. “The Loop” under 10 feet of water during the 1938 Hurricane
  7. Old Union Station, circa 1940’s?
  8. Overview of Kennedy Plaza, circa 1960’s?
  9. Overview Kennedy Plaza w/electric buses. The electric buses were called trackless trolleys, which U.E.R put into service circa 1943 – WWII. Notice the “WAIT” station which was called the loop. The buses seen here served North Main St to Pawtucket and thru the East Side tunnel to Thayer, Waterman, Angell, Hope, and Elmgrove Streets
  10. Union Station after the fire

The trolley system (U.E.R.) United Electric Railway and The Narragansett Electric Co. were owned by Marsden J. Perry.

Present facts from Douglas Brown. Thanks.

Do we have our facts right? Do you know better? Send us a message below with comments/changes.

John Gallagher Jan 25 2018 I wish there was a photo of the old RIPTA shelter at the Broad St. city-line. It is now a parking lot at the Providence-Cranston city line. It was a one story building with two offices and a walkway between them to the parking lot in back.

Maryellen Oct 11 2013 My grandfather, father and uncles drove the buses. This picture is a great memory.

Chris Danes Mar 29, 2008 There were a number of us who attended RISD in ’62-’68 or so – we lived at 118 N. Main St. on the 2nd and 3rd fls. Which was originally described in a WPA study of RI architecture by Henry Russell Hitchcock ( as the “First mansion of mature design” if I remember correctly. There is an interior room from the building on display at the Brooklyn Museum in NYC. It had been a flop house – a boarding house just before we moved in. Google has a “street” view of the building.

G.H. Dammann To help you date pix #7, the car to the right of the trolley is a 1946 Chevrolet, so the picture would have had to be shot during 1946 or later, but not before the end of W.W. II.

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