Rhode Island Housing just unveiled a new window mural at 44 Washington Street as part of a celebration of downtown Providence. Congratulations to everyone involved in this exciting project: the staff at Rhode Island Housing; (add) ventures, the marketing and communications firm that designed the mural; and Graphic Innovations, the company that produced and installed it in the windows.
The whimsical block-long scene recognizes the beauty of Rhode Island’s cities and towns, reflecting on the agency’s work to create vibrant communities here. Ten local icons are hidden within the image including the Independent Man, a ‘Hope’ banner, a Rhode Island Red, an anchor, a quahog, and the Block Island ferry.
At a press conference on June 5th, Rhode Island Housing’s Executive Director, Richard Godfrey, said that he was proud to be part of the neighborhood’s renaissance for the past 18 years. Since the mid-1990s, the agency has purchased the historic Slade, Garr and Earle buildings and has invested $63 million in the Downcity area, providing financing for the Smith, Peerless, Mercantile and Dreyfus buildings, among others. These major investments helped to revitalize the neighborhood, making downtown Providence a great place to live and work. With its colorful planters, signage, and participation in the Art Windows program, Rhode Island Housing has also remained committed to maintaining an attractive streetscape.
Mayor Angel Taveras presented Rhode Island Housing with a citation and described the organization as a tremendous resource to the city and state. He said that “it’s hard to walk around downtown and find a building that Rhode Island Housing hasn’t had an impact on.”
Steve Durkee, a downtown architect, resident and property owner who works as a Senior Associate for Cornish Associates, commended Rhode Island Housing for providing leadership at the right time, which has been critical to downtown’s success. He added that “magic is happening between Eddy and Union street,” as his company prepares 6 retail units across the street for occupancy within the Biltmore Garage.
Dan Baudouin, Executive Director of The Providence Foundation, recognized the strong partnership between Rhode Island Housing and the Foundation, and noted that the new window displays allow people to experience something wonderful and unexpected in the city. He also described Washington Street’s transformation with its current mix of arts, education, retail, commercial and residential uses. After years of neglect, it now houses the Strand apartments, Roger Williams University’s metro campus, the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein campus, the Biltmore Hotel, Regency Plaza, Lupo’s, Coastway Bank, AS220’s Dreyfus and Mercantile buildings, Trinity Repertory Theater, and fantastic restaurants.
Rhode Island Housing ensures that homes are affordable to all people who live and work in the state. For more information about the agency’s programs, visit: rhodeislandhousing.org. To watch highlights from the press conference, click here.