Culinary Archives and Museum
315 Harborside Blvd., 401-598-2805
“An educational resource for Johnson & Wales University, the community at-large, food scholars, and the food service industry.” Certified foodies aren’t the only ones who will enjoy this museum — with holdings in advertising, an African collection, molds, commercial kitchens, cookbooks, home kitchen items, menus, packaging, photographs, and art, there is something for just about everyone. Permanent and temporary exhibitions include Dinner at the White House, featuring presidential menus, photographs, and china; and Culinary Beginnings, tracing the culinary heritage of China, Korea, the Silk Road, ancient Egypt, and classical Greece and Rome.
The trip by bus takes just over half an hour from the Providence Biltmore hotel. Check with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority for specifics on routes and fares.
Governor Henry Lippitt House
199 Hope Street, 401-453-0688; David Wrenn, Lippitt House Administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that at this time of year, the Lippitt House is only open by advance appointment — see information below.
The Lippitt House is a fascinating window into the lives of an elite nineteenth-century Providence family. Built in 1865, this Renaissance Revival structure was home to merchant Henry Lippitt and his family, and very few changes have been made over the years. “Embellished with elaborate faux finishes from the walls to the ceilings, marble statues, colorful stained glass windows, ornately carved woodwork details and monogrammed dining service the family was ready to entertain in high style.” The house showcases the impressive skills of local craftsmen, and still contains most of the family’s furnishings.
Tours can be scheduled online at the website or by calling the museum office at 401-453-0688. Tours should be scheduled as far in advance as possible (there is no minimum number required).
Governor Stephen Hopkins House
15 Hopkins Street, 401-421-0694
One of two Rhode Island signers of the Declaration of Independence, Stephen Hopkins purchased a house in 1743 that had originally been constructed several decades earlier. To it he added a two-story structure that stands today as one of the oldest extant buildings in the city. George Washington slept here (twice). It is currently owned and operated by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, and is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00-4:00pm
Located at the intersection of Hopkins and Benefit, you can see it on your walking tour of Benefit Street.
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
In Manning Hall on Brown University’s Main Green. 401-863-2065
Brown University’s teaching museum, offering exhibits, public lectures, performances, symposia, festivals, and a broad range of programs and events for all ages. See their schedule of exhibits to see what will be on display in early April.
John Brown House
52 Power Street, 401-273-7507
Another site to see on your Benefit Street tour, the John Brown House Museum is administered by the Rhode Island Historical Society. The first mansion in Providence and one of the grandest of its time, it was completed in 1788 for John Brown, businessman, politician, statesman, and slave trader who amassed a fortune in the China Trade. Some of the original furniture includes a bookcase and nine-shell desk that are considered to be among the finest remaining examples of American Colonial furniture.
Try to ensure that your visit coincides with one of the available tours, where docents share unflinching anecdotes that help bring to life the house, its colorful inhabitants, and their place in Providence history. Between April 1 and November 30 tours are scheduled for the following days and times: Tuesday-Friday: 1:30pm and 3:00pm; Saturdays: 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm and 3:00pm; closed Mondays and Sundays.
Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
1000 Elmwood Avenue, 401-785-9457
Located in beautiful Roger Williams Park, this small but enjoyable natural history museum opened in 1896 and features collections that are about 85% natural history and 15% cultural materials. With many objects originating in Rhode Island, there are also items from around the world. The cultural collections comprise mainly North American archeological artifacts, but also include ethnographic objects such as baskets, textiles, tools, and carvings with from Oceania and Native North America.
During the time of our conference the Planetarium offers shows lasting about 35 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm.
If you are visiting the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, you may want to check out the Botanical Center, the zoo, and a number of other attractions that are also in the park. We’ll soon be sharing more information on this in a post about parks and cemeteries. Stay tuned.
The trip by bus to Roger Williams Park takes just under half an hour from the Providence Biltmore hotel. Check with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority for specifics on routes and fares.
Roger Williams National Memorial
282 North Main St., 401-521-7266
This is a small park commemorating the life and legacy of Rhode Island’s founder Roger Williams. After being banished for Massachusetts for his religious beliefs, he found Providence in 1636 as a site of religious freedom, where anyone could follow his conscience without the interference of government. The visitor center is also small, but features exhibits with information about Roger Williams and the early colonial history of the area. You might consider visiting in conjunction with your walking tour of Benefit Street.
67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, 401-725-8638, email@example.com. Note that during March and April the museum hours are Sat. & Sun. 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Slater Mill is a fascinating museum complex that brings the American Industrial Revolution to life. Located on the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, the Old Slater Mill (1793) was the first successful factory in the US. Dedicated to the production of cotton thread until 1829, it later produced jewelers’ tools, coffin trimmings, cardboard, and bicycles. Today the complex comprises Old Slater Mill; the Wilkinson Mill, built in 1810; and the Sylvanus Brown House, built in 1758, with archival materials, hand-operated and powered machinery, a theatre, gift shops, a gallery, and a recreational park.
The trip by bus takes just under half an hour from the Providence Biltmore hotel. Check with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority for specifics on routes and fares.