The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) has announced the 35th Annual Festival of Historic Houses will take place this year on June 13, 14, and 15. The Festival, known for opening some of Providence’s most interesting homes, gardens and converted industrial mill spaces to visitors from across the region, highlights Providence’s post-industrial heritage through its dynamic housing stock.
The 2014 Festival starts on Saturday in an enclave of homes within the College Hill neighborhood, between Brown University and the Fox Point neighborhood. The area includes some of the last land to be developed on Providence’s east side. Its oldest houses include the Federal-style homes of a merchant, a seaman, and a captain; these homes are located amid large, stately residences which include the townhouse of a Rhode Island governor, and the dignified Greek Revival houses of traders, bankers, professors and those who prospered in the mid-19th century textile and manufacturing industries. Approximately ten houses will be open for touring in this area, which includes Cooke, Manning and Hope Streets.
The tour continues on Sunday across town on the edge of Providence’s south side at Pearl Street Lofts. The location is an old industrial mill complex converted into live, work and retail space. Built between 1842 and 1857, the site originally housed the New England Butt Company, a manufacturer of cast-iron butt hinges. The company shifted into manufacturing braiding machinery for silk, worsted, and cotton braid as well as telephone, electric light and crinoline wire, and continued this venture until 1983. After various uses, the complex underwent an adaptive reuse development from 2002 to 2004 and today houses 55 units of rentable, buyable and affordable residences and work spaces.
Saturday, June 14 (College Hill): 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Sunday, June 15 (Pearl Street Lofts): Noon – 4:00 pm.
The weekend event will also include a ticketed kick-off cocktail party on Friday evening at the Joseph Cooke House on Hope Street. The Friday evening event is a special fundraiser for PPS, and opens the weekend of tours with cocktails, hors d’oeurves and celebration. On Sunday, KITE Architects will host a special open house reception from 3:00 – 6:00 pm as an extension to the Festival tour.
Tickets purchased in advance are $35 per day for PPS members/$40 per day for non-members. Advance two-day tickets are $75. Day-of tickets are $45. The Friday evening cocktail event is $125.