Bassett & Chestnut Streets, Jewelry District, Then & Now

A corner of great change, from prominant residential neighborhood to gritty industrial center and back again

About this Property

#About this Then & Now

This view is looking south from about 2 Bassett Street towards Chestnut and the Samuel Lewis / Thomas Doyle House built 1825. The 1985 view shows no trees or greenery and generally a very gritty, industrial neighborhood. The area changed greatly since 1825, moving from a prominent neighborhood suited for a three-time mayor of Providence to a mostly industrial center of the jewelry manufacturing industry.

The 2021 photo shows the change from industrial center back to something more residential, or at least commercial in nature. Greenery is strong — so strong that it is hard to make out the edges and sight-lines of buildings. In the distance is the former Vesta Knitting Mills, now residential condominiums. The Samuel Lewis house is used for commercial purposes, while the building to the immediate left is part of the Brown University campus.