Upturn for Downcity

The Downcity neighborhood of Providence is undergoing an urban revitalization, one hinged on preservation and renovation of historic buildings.

"Until the middle of the 20th century, it was a vibrant shopping district, perhaps the most prominent in the state, whose residents used to talk about going "downcity" rather than "downtown." It offered chic clothing shops, jewelers, tailors, salons and a number of local department stores: Shepard's, Peerless and Gladdings."

"But once the venerable tenants left, the buildings were vacant for years. Today, different kinds of stores are opening here. Cheese shops, design stores and restaurants are setting up in these stately buildings, hoping first-floor retail spaces will capture the attention of new residents in the area."

"There has long been talk of a renaissance in Downcity, which covers a 36-block area, about a quarter mile long and a third of a mile wide, and progress has been made."

Full Story: Providence Begins to See Its Future Around the Corner


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