Saturday, June 10 from 10am to 4pm
Self-guided tours of private homes and gardens in the Elmwood Neighborhood, hosted by the Providence Preservation Society
$50 PPS members | $60 general
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Ticket sales end Friday, June 9 at noon. Event is held rain or shine. All attendees should check in at the Registration Center, located at 544 Elmwood Avenue, on the day of the tour.
Advanced ticket sales have ended.
Interested in volunteering at the Festival? Sign up! All volunteers receive free admission to Saturday’s tour.
About the Neighborhood:
The place we know today as Elmwood has a history shaped by its proximity to the center of Providence – close enough to benefit from the services, amenities, and workforce of a growing city and distant enough for Elmwood to develop its own character and culture.
In colonial Providence, the slice of land to the south of the city was rural farmland and took the name “Elmwood” from Joseph J. Cooke’s farm of the same name. The American Industrial Revolution saw the neighborhood dramatically shift from farmland to tree-lined streets of posh Victorians belonging to the city’s growing middle class and its nouveau-riche upper class residents. New modes of transportation – particularly the electrified trolley – established Elmwood as Providence’s first streetcar suburb. The opening of Gorham Manufacturing’s landmark factory complex on Mashapaug Pond in 1890 drew hundreds of workers into the neighborhood and changed the economic and cultural character of Elmwood.
However, Elmwood’s booming success faded in the mid-20th century as economic decline, an eroding tax base, and municipal disinvestment deeply affected the neighborhood. New highways, coupled with unequal lending practices that pushed for mortgages and new construction in the suburbs fueled the exodus of white, middle-class residents and the growth of suburban development in Cranston and Warwick. Large businesses followed suit.
Through the 1970s and ‘80s, the neighborhood welcomed the Latine and Asian communities, enlivening the streets with their markets and restaurants and adapting the neighborhood’s ageing building stock. First-time homebuyers undertook the restoration of the Victorian houses the neighborhood is known for, turning to organizations like the Providence Revolving Fund. Other social services have ushered in additional resources aimed at equitable and sustainable housing opportunities and home ownership programs. Today, Elmwood continues to evolve while retaining its architecturally and culturally rich reputation.
- All properties are within walking distance; some properties may have steep stairs or uneven surfaces
- Photography, videography, and cell phone conversations prohibited inside the properties
- No smoking, eating or drinking permitted inside properties
- To protect flooring, high-heeled shoes may not be worn inside properties
- Homeowners may request shoe removal or use of shoe covers
- We welcome children over the age of 10, and small children if they are carried
- Please note that the content of the tour will be presented in English