Retread ~ Sights ~ Providence Athenaeum

Providence Athenaeum
251 Benefit St.
Providence, Rhode Island

Athaneum in autumn
The Athanaeum, founded in 1753, is the oldest library in Rhode Island, fourth oldest in the country, and one of the few remaining subscription libraries in the United States.

It's a cool Greek Revival building near RISD, just a block from the RISD museum (more on that later). The current building was designed by William Strickland and built in 1838.

Bear and I spent a happy hour there on Sunday afternoon, and we've brought friends from out of town to enjoy it as well. It's a great old library, crammed full of books and history. But it's not just gathering dust. The Athenaeum recently went wireless. They have new books and materials as well as special collections.

Athaneum Interior


  1. I'm a confirmed bookworm and I work in two libraries here in RI. When I first moved back to RI (from AZ) in 2001, one of the very first field trips I did with my girls was to visit the Athenaeum. It's lovely. Great photo!


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