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Edgewood extends south from the Cranston-Providence line to somewhere around Massasoit Avenue, from the bay roughly west to Broad Street, and to Roger Williams Park above Westwood and Edgewood streets. The area has always maintained a degree of residential stability because of the advantages of the bay, the park, three nearby yacht clubs, and “The Boulevard” (as natives refer to it), which serves as its spine. Narragansett Boulevard was at one time more distinguishable as such because of its rows of magnificent trees, many of which have been lost to successive hurricanes and only spottily replaced. It and the more impressive stretch of Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence ( EP18) were the only substantially built pieces of the projected boulevard system in and around Providence as recommended by the Report of the Metropolitan Park Commission (1906)—unless one also includes a short stretch of Mount Pleasant Avenue and (most important) Blackstone Boulevard ( PR172), even though the latter had been previously built by private initiative.

Edgewood developed first as a summer resort, then, especially after a trolley line came to the boulevard, as a year-round residential community. It is among the most intact upper-middle-class Providence suburbs dating from the trolley-car era, restoration having reversed some recent dilapidation. Its houses, predominantly Queen Anne and Colonial Revival, may be appreciated as much for a sense of the whole as for outstanding examples.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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