A photo from 1982 showing Providence's Union Station in the center and the Rhode Island Statehouse in the upper right-hand corner. (photo courtesy of HABS/HAER)
Current MassGIS/Google aerial photo showing the changed landscape between Union Station and the Statehouse.
Another dramatic change to the Providence cityscape began to take shape in the late '80s when the Northeast Corridor tracks were relocated closer to the Statehouse and a new Providence Railroad station was constructed. Along with the re-routing of the track came the construction of the Providence Place Mall which is shown in the current photo towards the upper left-hand corner. The Providence River flows under the mall and then into a pedestrian-friendly area that allows for seating as well as viewing of the periodic WaterFire festival. The mall is an upscale shopping destination that previously had been missing from the city's mix. Prior to the Providence Place Mall, some city residents traveled a distance to visit suburban malls, such as the Warwick Mall, in Warwick, RI.
While I was a college student in Providence, Union Station was an active station for catching an Amtrak train to Boston or New York, but clearly the building had seen better days. It was a beautiful structure in need of cleaning, fresh paint and some restoration. Years later, Union Station, has been converted to a mixed-use complex including The Rhode Island Foundation, restaurants and office space. In addition, a Marriott Hotel was constructed just behind the Union Station complex.
The restored facade of Union Station.