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Symposium Venue 

First Unitarian ChurchFirst Unitarian Church. Photo credit: Peter Michel

The 2017 Providence Symposium will take place at the First Unitarian Church (click for map).

Built 1815-1816 by John Holden Greene, the First Unitarian Church is the second church to stand at its location at 1 Benevolent Street after a fire destroyed the previous meeting house built just 19 years before. Inspired by the architectural designs of Charles Bulfinch and his work on sacred spaces in Boston, the First Unitarian Church echos Bulfinch's designs with its grand entrance portico comprised of a large bracketed pediment and doric pillars. 

The church has survived a centuries of use, and the fire of 1966 caused by a lightning strike which threatened its strucutral integrity and existence. In a beautiful example of historic preservation, restoration began immediately after the disaster, repairing the wooden and plaster detailing to a high level of integrity.

The First Unitarian Church is in close proximity to many of the topics of discussion that will be explored during the Symposium such as owner neglect on Benefit Street, expansion on College Hill, and the history of displaced communities of those on Lippitt Hill, Fox Point, and the area around Cathedral Square.


Parking is available in the First Unitarian Church lot (accessible from Benefit Street), as well as on-street parking surrounding the venue.