*A couple of details on this video are now out of date. Please find the most up to date information on our festival in the text below.

SAVE THE DATE: September 23, 2017

Imagine receiving a set of keys to historic homes, theaters, sacred spaces, secret vaults, studios and more for free.

The inaugural Doors Open Rhode Island Festival will provide free, special access to 20+ places across Providence on Saturday, September 23 (10am-6pm). Visitors will build their own explorations of participating venues, each activated with programming and interpretation. What kind of places? Here’s a taste of what to expect:

  • Experience Victorian splendor inside Barnaby’s Castle
  • Tour the Box Office, one of the largest shipping container buildings in the country
  • Walk the upper floors of the Providence Arcade, the oldest indoor shopping mall in the country and now a model for micro-living
  • Walk through the vault door of Hudson Furs that once protected the belongings of the notorious Raymond Patriarca and his associates, and learn about the largest heist in local history
  • Climb up inside the giant green dome above Beneficent Congregational Church and see graffiti that dates back 100+ years

Full site listing and more details will be made available in early August 2017.

City Hall, Providence RI. Photo by Design Imaging Studios

RI Resource Recovery Corporation, Johnston RI. Photo by Doors Open RI

Volunteer for the Festival 

Want to join us in sharing the great places and spaces of Providence? Be a part of the Doors Open RI community by volunteering in our inaugural citywide festival! 

What Volunteers Do

Volunteers welcome visitors at the sites, manage the crowd, track visitor attendance and answer questions. A typical shift is 4 hours long.

Why You Should Volunteer

Volunteers receive a priority-access pass to skip the lines, and a festival souvenir T-shirt. Most importantly, you are helping us connect the public to the great places and spaces of Providence.

Sign Up to Volunteer!

Barnaby Castle, Providence RI. Photo by Design Imaging Studios

Doors Open Worldwide

The Doors Open RI Festival follows in the footsteps of over 50 cities around the world developing successful open house festivals, such as London, Tel Aviv and New York, and smaller cities such as Milwaukee, Baltimore and Lowell.

Doors Open RI Director, Caroline Stevens previously managed Open House Chicago, the signature event of the Chicago Architecture Foundation and with 100,000 visitors this past year, now the largest open house festival in the country.

There are citywide “open house” programs in well over 50 cities around the world under the Doors Open and Open House brands.

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.