Providence is the capital and most populous city of the state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony . He named the area in honor of “God’s merciful Providence” which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.
Providence was one of the first cities in the country to industrialize and became noted for its textile manufacturing and subsequent machine tool, jewelry, and silverware industries. Today, the city of Providence is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning which have shifted the city’s economy into service industries, though it still retains some manufacturing activity.
With an estimated population of 179,883, Providence is the third-most-populous city inNew England after Boston and Worcester, MA.
Providence has 25 official neighborhoods, though these neighborhoods are often grouped together and referred to collectively:
There are several private schools in the city’s East Side, , including Moses Brown, the Lincoln Schol, the Wheeler School and LaSalle Academy. The public charter schools Time Squared Academy and Textron Chamber of Commerce are funded by GTECH Corporation and Textron respectively. In addition, the city’s South Side houses Community Preparatory School, a private school serving primarily low-income students in grades 3–8. There are two separate centers for students with special needs.
The Providence Public School District serves about 30,000 students from pre-Kindergarten to grade 12. The district has 25 elementary schools, nine middle schools, and thirteen high schools. The Providence Public School District features magnet schools at the middle and high school level, Nathaniel Greene and Classicalrespectively. The overall graduation rate as of 2007 is 70.1%, which is close to the statewide rate of 71% and the national average of 70%.
If you’re looking for things to do in Providence, RI, look no further:
Roger Williams Park and Zoo and Waterplace Park are just two of the areas with completely different focuses on what entertains.
Museums and historical sites are aplenty. Restaurants are throughout downtown, on Federal Hill and dotted throughout the city and range in style, price and ethnicity and 100% fabulous! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
And as every Italian grandmother says in Providence, “Mangia!”
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