Neighborhood News

May 2022


The Downtown Neighborhood Association is back in action

After a two-year COVID pause, the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) is back and ready to promote, preserve, encourage, and enhance the quality of life for residents and business owners in downtown through sustained action and long-term transformation. Their primary focus will be based on three key areas: safety, engagement and participation, and neighborhood activation. If you are a resident, merchant, or stakeholder in downtown Providence who is passionate about community service and volunteerism; has an interest in improving safety and security in downtown; wants to help to facilitate pedestrian-friendly, street-activated programming and events in downtown; and enjoys working with social media platforms, DNA welcomes you to consider volunteering or serving on their board. Over the next month, DNA hopes to identify new board members and volunteers so they can organize a community forum and begin the next steps in positioning downtown for a tremendous revival in the months ahead. Those interested can email

Jewelry District hosts tree planting and a community cleanup

Greening the Jewelry District – the 2022 edition – went into action on April 9. Volunteers from around the neighborhood gathered to plant new trees around the district. It’s a major team effort that brings together the resources of the Providence Forester’s office, the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program (PNPP), Brown University, and the public. The city prepares the site for each new tree, PNPP provides the trees, and Jewelry District Association (JDA) volunteers get the trees in the ground. Then the JDA sees to watering the saplings through their first fragile months. Since the program began several years ago, they have planted more than 60 new trees.

With the snow melted, revealing dead branches here, a beer can there, and face masks strewn everywhere, it’s time to clear the winter’s trash from the streets, sidewalks, and open spaces. JDA neighbors will be gathering for their annual Cleanup Day on Saturday, May 14, 9am at the corner of Chestnut and South Streets. Volunteers are more than welcome. The JDA will supply rakes, shovels, gloves, trash bags, and other gear, as well as drinks and snacks.

FPNA neighbors weigh in on Gano Street subdivision

In November of last year, local developer Bahman Jalili spoke with neighbors at a monthly meeting of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) to share plans to demolish three buildings on Gano Street, at the intersection of Power Street, to make way for a new four-building, five-story subdivision. While neighbors were critical of the lack of affordable units in the development and what one resident characterized as its “monolithic” appearance, many were vocal about the parking entrance for the subdivision, which is planned for the eastern edge of that intersection, near the heavily trafficked Gano Street ball fields and community garden. “I am very concerned for the safety of pedestrians, especially children,” a neighbor commented. 

Since then, Jalili has modified his plans. While the parking structure for the building will be accessed from Power Street, as originally proposed, the driveway will be widened to improve visibility. According to Tim Shea, neighborhood liaison with the Providence Department of Planning, Jalili also committed to removing “deteriorating concrete bleachers” that currently stand on the left-field foul line of the ballfield and replacing them with decorative plantings. FPNA appreciates Jalili’s flexibility, particularly on matters related to safety. Jalili will go before the City Plan Commission this spring.

Providence Preservation Society’s Festival of Historic Houses

On Saturday, June 4, the Providence Preservation Society will present the 40th Festival of Historic Houses. This year, the self-guided tour explores homes and gardens along the crest of College Hill, on Keene Street and Lloyd Avenue. 

The earliest homes in this intimate and tree-lined neighborhood appeared in the 1850s and by the 1870s, ample Second Empire and Italianate style houses dotted the streets. The building boom of the 1880s and 1890s saw a blend of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival houses, all comfortable in size, rich in detail, and set back from the streets to allow for a dense landscape of flora. The proximity to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design also attracted professors to this burgeoning enclave, while the nearby Thayer Street commercial district provided household needs and entertainment.

Additional events include an exclusive ticketed Festival Preview Party on Thursday, June 2, special guided tours of private gardens on Sunday, June 5, and a diverse slate of virtual and in-person pre-festival programming. 

Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance; no day-of tickets will be available. Further details and information on ticket sales can be found at Please contact or 831-7440 with any questions or concerns.



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here