An exciting project is underway after the Roger Williams Park Gateway broke ground in Providence on Tuesday. The new feature to the already stunning park aims to enhance the entrance to the park on Broad Street.

The Providence Redevelopment Agency (PRA), the Department of Planning & Development, and the Providence Parks Department are ecstatic to transform the entrance into a destination spot.

“Bursting with promise, innovation and color, the new facility will feature a vibrant visitor center, restrooms, and play areas,” explained the City of Providence. The goal is to pay homage to the culture that is alive well around the park. The Latino community has called the Broad Street corridor home for the past 60 years, allowing their culture to flourish, and the gateway’s multi-colored paneling will be a tip of the cap to the vibrant storefronts along Broad Street.

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Councilman Pedro Espinal of Ward 10 is confident that this new feature will bring a renewed interest to the area. Rhode Islanders are familiar with the park’s flourishing botanical center and its architectural marvels, and now this new feature will bring even more beauty to the area.

“The Roger Williams Gateway project is the ideal showcase for blight elimination utilizing $1 million from the state-funded Acquisition and Revitalization Program,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. And from the looks of the designs by InForm Studio, this will bring a welcoming transition from urban life outside to the wild nature inside.

InForm Studio, the architects assigned to the project, explained how the gateway will enter into an urban portion of the garden, “an open permeable hardscape space creates a flexible field for the variety of outdoor programs and event tied to Roger Williams Park and Gateway.” A Stormwater Play Garden follows, along with grass landforms and log bridges that will “allow visitors to playfully explore the native meadow.”

Courtesy of INFORM

The project received financial support from the Providence Redevelopment Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal American Rescue Plan Act and RIHousing’s Property Acquisition and Revitalization Program. This project aims to be completed by this fall, just in time for families to watch the leaves turn at one of the most beautiful destinations in Rhode Island.

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