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State Armory, Cranston St, from HABS/HAER

College Hill Local Historic District

established 1960; expanded 1977, 1990

Benefit Street Streetscape
The intact streetscape of north Benefit Street. Photo by Warren Jagger

College Hill is the site of Providence's original settlement in 1636, and it contains the most distinguished historic architecture in the city. Its name derives from the steep hill rising from the east bank of the Providence River, the district is primarily residential, with commercial uses lining its western edge along the river; institutions such as Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design have also played a major role in the neighborhood's development. The College Hill Historic District contains a wide range of architectural styles, from early colonial to early 20th century triple-deckers.

There are over 1,200 properties currently in the district. College Hill has been expanded twice since its designation in 1960, in 1977 and 1990. Click here to see a map of the current district.

In 2013, neighbors in the area of Cooke and Manning streets reached out to PPS after seeing drastic changes take place in their neighborhood. Realizing that they were not in a local district, neighbors petitioned PPS to sponsor the designation of the neighborhood as a local district.

To learn more about this initiative, click here.