College Hill Historic District

Roughly bounded by the Providence and Seekouk Rivers, Olney, Hope, and Governor Sts., Carrington and Whittier, Providence, Rhode Island


College Hill, Bounded roughly by Olney

1. View from rear of Hallworth House, 66 Benefit Street, looking west towards State House.

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress


Street Views 


College Hill is significant at the national level as a well preserved collection of historic residential, commercial, educational, and religious buildings dating from the early eighteenth century to about 1930. The area was listed as a district in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Covering an area of nearly 500 acres, the district contains a variety of resources associated with the development of Providence from Colonial times to the present. Among the most significant resources are a line of remarkably well-preserved homes along Benefit Street, the campuses of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, and commercial, religious, and public buildings found along Water, Main, Wickenden, Thayer and Prospect streets. The development of the patchwork of neighborhoods that make up the district was governed by changing patterns and economic conditions that played significant roles in the evolution of Providence. The district retains its historic appearance, feeling, and association to a high degree. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS RI-406)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 10, 1970
Reference number
Architectural styles
Mid 19th Century Revival; Federal
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Art; Education; Exploration/Settlement; Politics/Government; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
College; Single dwelling; City hall
Current functions
Single dwelling; College; Courthouse
Periods of significance
1650-1699; 1600-1649; 1875-1899; 1700-1749; 1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1750-1799; 1825-1849
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1141
Contributing structures: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 65
Non-contributing structures: 1

Update Log 

  • July 22, 2015: New photos from Michael Miller

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