Providence Walks: The West Side Historic Tour
Stories of Immigration and Activism in a Global Neighborhood
Beyond Interstate 95 lies Providence’s West Side. A bridge arching over the interstate takes you into the city of immigrants and strivers, of industrialists in Broadway mansions and mill workers in cramped triple-deckers.
The Colonial town, built on shipping and the slave trade, huddled along the Providence River. By the early 19th century, textile mills had changed the economy, the result of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and Samuel Slater’s industrial espionage. The turn of the century saw massive global migrations, and many nationalities contributed to the life of the multilingual city. Today the West Side is a dynamic community, home to those native-born and immigrant, coming from every corner of our country and our planet to build a better life in Providence.
Walk the West Side and see the city of the Irish famine and French Canadian mill workers, the Italian diaspora and Armenian refuge, and the new city being built in one of the most diverse communities in America.
This tour was researched and written by Taylor M. Polites.*
All efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, however it is subject to change. Information is updated in an ongoing manner in partnership with local tourism offices, individual businesses and organizations and via a direct feed from goprovidence.com, discovernewport.org, southcountyri.com and Yelp.com.