2015 Festival of Historic HousesThe Providence Preservation Society's 2015 Festival of Historic Houses will take place this year on Saturday, June 13. The Festival showcases contemporary living in historic homes, and will guide attendees through residences in the storied Fox Point neighborhood, which is home to many of the oldest existing houses in the city. The Festival tour provides a rare opportunity to step inside historic properties in Fox Point and on southern Benefit Street and learn about their origins and inhabitants while viewing firsthand the modern day living spaces in these prized, preserved places. The Festival will feature over a dozen homes and gardens that will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as guided tours of the neighborhood.
So named because Native Americans noted the high population of foxes on a subsequently razed hill, Fox Point is rich in history. “From fox habitat to farmland, to a center for maritime activity with the establishment in 1680 of Providence’s first port, to an active industrial center with the Boston and Providence railroad as its lifeblood, the neighborhood has been central to Providence’s historical evolution,” stated Brent Runyon, executive director of the Providence Preservation Society.
Festival attendees will move through the India Point area, named for the “Indiamen” trading ships traveling between Fox Point and the West Indies, and get a sense of the neighborhood’s ever-changing profile and the influence of the Irish, Portuguese, and Cape Verdean immigrants who were drawn to the farmland and the work opportunities offered by the port and the industrial boom in the area. Ongoing commercial revitalization of Wickenden Street and Ives Street provide visitors and neighbors alike with a quirky mix of mainstay family businesses such as bakeries, markets, and hardware stores along with a delectable mix of multicultural cuisines.
Homes and gardens on Williams Street, Arnold Street, and Benefit Street, will be open for touring; participants will enjoy seeing Greek Revival architecture, 18th century architectural features and trim, Victorian design elements, and Colonial Revival additions. In addition, the 2015 Festival is part of the citywide Providence International Arts Festival, with activities throughout Providence from June 11-14.
The 2015 Festival of Historic Houses kicks off with a separately-ticketed Preview Party on Friday, June 12 at a historic home that is only open for that evening. Tickets for Saturday, June 13, are $35 for PPS members/$45 for non-members, in advance. Day-of tickets are $50. Student pricing available. Neighborhood tours will be given throughout the day at no charge.
For more information, contact Angela Kondon at PPS at 401-831-7440, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, visit www.ProvidenceHouseTour.com for a map and preview of the event.