Providence Unlocked

Imagine receiving a set of keys to historic homes, theaters, sacred spaces, secret vaults, studios and more, for free.  For one day, the Doors Open Rhode Island Festival provided free, special access to 24 one-of-a-kind places across Providence. We already wrapped up our first festival, but look forward to organizing another one in 2019.

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Skip to the 2017 Festival Sites!

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Providence Unlocked 

On Saturday, September 23 we handed the keys of the city over to the people. We opened the doors to 24 unique locations across Providence, providing behind-the-scenes access without tickets or reservations. A free event, we welcomed more than 4,000 people who made a total of 20,000 visits inside some of our greatest treasures. It was magical.

Can’t wait for it to happen again? We’re looking forward to making this a biannual event, with our next Festival scheduled for the Fall of 2019. In the meantime, sign up for our mailing list because we’re planning monthly programs from now until then!

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What follows is an archive of the 2017 Doors Open RI Festival. This information will remain up on our website for your reference until early 2019 when we begin planning our next Festival. Enjoy!

HOW IT WORKS:

When is the festival?

The Festival will be from 10am-6pm on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Open access times for individual sites vary.

Do I need tickets?

This is a FREE public event — no tickets or reservations needed.  Lines may be expected at certain locations. Volunteers and other supporters of the Festival are offered priority access.

Where can I get my Event Guide?

Find our event guide inside the September issue of Providence Monthly or at any participating site on the day of the Festival. You can also download a PDF of the Event Guide here.

What are the participating locations?

You’ll find information about participating locations below as well as listed in our event guide (see above). Venues and details may change, however, so keep checking back here for the most up-to-date information on participating locations.

How can I keep up to date?

Follow Doors Open RI on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for live Festival updates: @doorsopenri and #DoorsOpenRI
You can also RSVP to our Facebook event

Which sites are handicap accessible?

We want to make this Festival fun for everyone. Sites marked with a wheelchair icon are handicap accessible. The handicap entrance may not be immediately visible, but just ask the volunteer up front and they should be able to make accommodations for you.

How do I get around the Festival?

Doors Open Rhode Island is committed to minimizing the impact of our Festival on the environment, and encourage you to travel green. There are many ways to explore festival sites: walk, ride your bike or take the RIPTA bus for free! RIPTA is providing complimentary transportation between participating venues along existing RIPTA bus routes. Show your Doors Open RI/RIPTA button, available for pickup on September 23 at all festival sites, to any RIPTA driver to board the city bus (and then take it home as your souvenir!)

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Parking may also be available at certain locations further away from the city center.  Free parking will be available in the lots surrounding the State House and other Capitol Hill buildings.

Is this the only Doors Open Festival?

Our Festival is part of a worldwide movement of citywide Doors Open and Open House events connecting the public to the great places and spaces of their communities.

Can I take pictures?

You are welcome to take pictures inside of all participating locations. Don’t forget to share them with us! #doorsopenri

How Can I Support the Doors Open RI Festival?

Though our festival is free, it isn’t free to organize. We depend on donations from people like you to make our programming possible. Every bit helps. Please support our festival and other programs by making a donation today!

Donate Today!
Explore Sites
Explore Programs
Explore Sites
Explore Programs

Explore the Sites

East Side

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Downtown

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West Side

EAST SIDE

Click each site for more details!

Annmary Brown Memorial

21 Brown St.
10am-4pm

Benefit St. Arsenal

176 Benefit St.
10am-6pm

Cathedral of Saint John

276 North Main St.
12pm – 6pm

John Brown House Museum

52 Power St.
10am-4pm

Ladd Observatory

Brown University, 210 Doyle Ave.
11am – 3pm

RISD Nature Lab

13 Waterman St.
10am-4pm

RISD Textiles

7 N. Main St. (Metcalf Building)
10am-2pm

Stephen Hopkins House

15 Hopkins St.
10am-9:30pm

DOWNTOWN

Click each site for more details!

Arcade Providence

130 Westminter St.
10am-3pm

Beneficent Congregational Church

300 Weybosset
10am-4pm

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

30 Fenner St.
10am-4pm

Nail Communications

63 Eddy St.
10am-6pm

Pavilion at Grace Church

300 Westminster St.
10am-5pm

Providence City Hall

25 Dorrance St.
10am-6pm

Providence Public Library

225 Washington St.
9:30am-2pm

Rhode Island Foundation

1 Union Station
12pm-6pm

Rhode Island Public Radio

1 Union Station
12pm-6pm

Rhode Island State House

82 Smith St.
10am-6pm

WEST SIDE

Click each site for more details!

Atlantic Mills

120 Manton Ave.
10am-4pm

Barnaby Castle

299 Broadway
10am-3pm

Box Office

460 Harris Ave.
10am-4pm

Columbus Theatre

270 Broadway
10am-4pm

Hudson Furs

101 Cranston St.
10am-4pm

Providence Armory on Cranston St

310 Cranston St.
10am-12pm

Annmary Brown Memorial

21 Brown Street
10am-4pm

Arcade Providence

130 Westminster Street
10am-3pm

Atlantic Mills

120 Manton Avenue
10am-4pm

Barnaby Castle

299 Broadway
10am-3pm

Beneficent Congregational Church

300 Weybosset Street
10am-4pm

Benefit Street Arsenal

176 Benefit Street
10am-6pm

Box Office

460 Harris Ave.
10am-4pm

Cathedral of St. John

276 North Main St.
12pm-6pm

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

30 Fenner St.
10am-4pm

Columbus Theatre

270 Broadway
10am-4pm

Hudson Furs

101 Cranston St.
10am-4pm

John Brown House Museum

52 Power St.
10am-4pm

Ladd Observatory

210 Doyle Ave.
11am-3pm

Nail Communications

63 Eddy St.
10am-6pm

Pavilion at Grace Church

300 Westminster St.
10am – 5pm

Providence Armory on Cranston St.

310 Cranston St.
10am – 12pm

Providence City Hall

25 Dorrance St.
10am-6pm

Providence Public Library

225 Washington St.
9:30am – 2 pm

Rhode Island Foundation

1 Union Station
12pm – 6 pm

Rhode Island Public Radio

1 Union Station
12pm – 6pm

Rhode Island State House

82 Smith St.
10am – 6pm

RISD Nature Lab

13 Waterman St.
10am – 4pm

RISD Textiles Jacquard Loom

7 North Main St.
10am – 2pm

Stephen Hopkins House

15 Hopkins St.
10am – 9:30pm

Share your pics! #doorsopenri

  • lookingup capture  by member  zackbphoto  from ourhellip
  • This is the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul inhellip
  • Reserved
  • findingRoger in the archives doorsopenri latergram rogerwilliams providence
  • 10262017 You can find the perfect blue in unexpected placeshellip
  • State Room ceiling

And follow @doorsopenri on Instagram

Explore the Programs

Doors Open RI Programs

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19th-Century Providence in 3D

Aurora Providence: 276 Westminster Street
Sat. Sept. 23

5:00-5:45, 6:15 to 7:00, 7:30 to 8:15

Come enjoy a beverage with historian Ned Connors at the Aurora for three extraordinary stereopticon shows. Travel back in time as we revisit late 19th-century Providence, when photographers plied the city to produce stereo images of its streets, squares, waterfront and scenic features. Strap on a pair of 3D glasses to witness life-sized scenes of a dynamic, prosperous Victorian Providence projected onto the silver screen.

Seating is limited. Admittance to the three shows will be through advance ticket distribution and first come, first serve Learn More >

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Sights and Sounds of Atlantic Mills

Atlantic Mills: 120 Manton Ave.
Sat. Sept. 23; 10am-4pm 

Experience the sights and sounds of the Industrial Revolution like never before! Once one of the nation’s most productive textile mills, Atlantic Mills will play host to a special pop-up exhibit and experiential audio installation. Robby McCall, who has overseen the maintenance of Atlantic Mills for decades, will present artifacts and archival images he has collected from throughout the building’s history inside one of its storied towers. At the same time, visitors will experience sounds from the building’s heyday as a textile mill through a one-time-only, immersive sound installation by Erik Carlson. Learn More >

These Doors Open RI programs are made possible through the support of the Rhode Island Council for Humanities.

Partner Programs

Doors Open RI is thrilled to be a part of the 4th annual DESIGN WEEK RI featuring 12 days of highly curated events showcasing the innovation and economic impact of the design sector in Rhode Island. Join the conversation!
designweekri.com

Waterfire: September 23

What better way to end your day exploring the great treasures of Providence than to see the city sparkle in the moonlight? Experience a full WaterFire lighting of 80 sparkling bonfires along the Providence River. Begins at sunset.
WaterFire.org

Ocean State Oyster Festival: September 23

When you need a break from your Providence explorations and start to feel hungry, head over to the Ocean State Oyster Festival for some delicious food and relaxing atmosphere. In partnership with Save the Bay, the festival celebrates Rhode Island’s aquaculture industry and supports the environmental sustainability of Narragansett Bay.
OysterFestRI.org

ABOUT US

Doors Open Rhode Island connects people to local places of cultural, historical and architectural significance in an effort to bridge communities and inspire new perspectives on our cities. We provide behind-the-scenes access to Rhode Island’s best-kept secrets through innovative programs and tours planned throughout the year. We believe that through welcoming the public inside the gems at the heart of our communities, we can strengthen the connections between people and the places around them. In this sense, we aim to transform our residents into advocates for our built environment and ambassadors for Rhode Island.

Though most of our programs are free for participants, they aren’t free to organize. We depend on grants and contributions from people like you to fund the staffing, program supplies, and other administrative costs that make our programs possible. Join the Doors Open RI family by making a donation today. Every bit helps.

DONATE TODAY

ABOUT US

Doors Open Rhode Island connects people to local places of cultural, historical and architectural significance in an effort to bridge communities and inspire new perspectives on our cities. We provide behind-the-scenes access to Rhode Island’s best-kept secrets through fun programs and tours planned throughout the year. We believe that through welcoming the public inside the gems at the heart of our communities, we can strengthen the connections between people and the places around them. In this sense, we aim to transform our residents into advocates for our built environment and ambassadors for Rhode Island.

Though most of our programs are free for participants, they aren’t free to organize. We depend on grants and contributions from people like you to fund the staffing, program supplies, and other administrative costs that make our programs possible. Join the Doors Open RI family by making a donation today. Every bit helps.

DONATE TODAY

Unless otherwise noted, all photography provided by Christian Scully / Design Imaging Studios

Project Supported By

With Additional Support From:

AAA NortheastBarbara Sokoloff Associates and DBVW Architects Inc.

The Doors Open Rhode Island Festival is made possible [in part] by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, culture heritage, civic education, and community engagement for all Rhode Islanders.