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DIVINE PROVIDENCE: The Rebirth of an American City

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by Kajsa Whitney
October 1, 2019
When:
November 4, 2019 @ 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
2019-11-04T17:00:00-06:00
2019-11-04T19:30:00-06:00

“I don’t know of any city in the world where a city undertook to relocate its railroads, relocate its rivers, relocate its highway and all of this has been done here in Providence.” – Architect Friedrich St. Florian

This film tells the story of Providence, Rhode Island’s uniqueness from it’s colonial period through it’s century of greatness, its decline and rebirth and continuous through the four phases of its rebirth as a Renaissance City: the moving of the railroad tracks, the river relocation, the Capital Center Project, and the moving of the Interstate I-195 bridge. At its core is it’s treasure house of 18th, 19th and 20th century architecture. In each phase the film examines the historical and architectural context in which the plans were conceived and realized, and connect each phase to the individuals and agencies that brought it to fruition.

This film evokes the Providence that is emerging, a city built upon the bones of its history, and a city whose ongoing Renaissance is directly connected to its past, its rivers, its industrial heart, and its storehouse of built spaces. The film shows the city as it has grown into itself again and how its current vitality is shaped by its roots in the historical elements that once made it a model industrial city. You will see the city through the eyes of the architects, planners and developers who shaped it and the historians who have studied and celebrated the city’s remarkable urban fabric.

It was a process that took place against a backdrop of historic buildings in Providence’s downtown core, examples of which this film investigates, from the conversion of the city’s magisterial brick factories, the repurposing of downtown commercial structures, and the imaginative reuse of historical buildings of every stripe.

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