Once covered by the "world's widest bridge," the Providence River downtown is now enlivened by year-round public art and cultural events - including the famed WaterFire installation.
Once covered by the "world's widest bridge," the Providence River downtown is now enlivened by year-round public art and cultural events, including the famed WaterFire installation.
Built in 1994, Waterplace Park and Riverwalk are situated at the foot of the State Capitol hill. It was created by rerouting the Providence River and removing paving - the "world's widest bridge" - that for decades had covered it over. The paving was replaced by several real bridges inspired by those in Venice, making the river a downtown focal point once again. Waterplace Park and the adjacent Riverwalk have a welcoming and thoughtful design, which has become a focal point of Providence's revitalized downtown area. But what really makes these great places is the wealth of activities they host. Between the annual Convergence art festival, the WaterFire installation which runs on selected nights most of the year, the Summer Concert Series, and long-term installations of public art, there's always something going on—and all of these events are free.
Plenty of nearby parking makes this place a starting point for people to circulate through downtown Providence while linking the affluent neighborhood of East Side Providence with downtown and creating a plaza. Walkers on the paths, bikers, joggers, artists sketching the city all can be seen here daily. Art is central to the space, providing a conversation piece and a platform for interacting and socialization with all types of visitors.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.