Past, Present, Future

Xay Khamsyvoravong’s College Hill home honors his family’s history and Providence’s


It was a long road from Xay Khamsyvoravong’s childhood home in Barrington to his current one in Providence - one that went by way of Wall Street and California before bringing him to College Hill, where he lives in a historic 1846 home built by Charles Shaw. Since his job with Webster Bank takes him out of town often, living within walking distance of Amtrak was a huge selling point. “I don’t think there are a lot of cities with historic neighborhoods that close to a major train station,” He says. From his house, he can also see both the State House, and the original State House, which is fitting. Khamsyvoravong is on the board of Grow Smart RI and chairman of Providence Water. “To be able to see both and be as civically engaged as I am,” he says, “I thought that was really fun.” Khamsyvoravong attributes that engagement to his family: his grandfather’s service in World War II, his father’s life as a refugee, and his mother’s career, which started as a community health doctor. Inside the home, there’s a modern feel balanced by historic character in details like wide-plank pine floors with square-headed nails. There are also subtleties that represent his family, like his grandfather’s hunting bow, and the oar from his fishing boat. “On the mantle, there’s a picture of when I took my mom to meet Hillary Clinton,” he says. “I thought that was pretty great.” Your parents must be proud, I say. “Well,” he says, “I’ll keep working hard just in case they aren’t.”