Fox Point, Providence, Rhode Island

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Providence neighborhoods with Fox Point in red

Fox Point is a neighborhood in the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island. It is bounded by the Providence and Seekonk rivers, Interstate 195 and the College Hill and Wayland neighborhoods. Fox Point is the southernmost neighborhood in the East Side area of Providence.

Fox Point retains much of its historical character, with housing stock dating from the 18th and 19th centuries in much of the neighborhood. Vernacular interpretations of the Federal, Greek revival, and Italianate architectural styles are well represented West of Governor Street, while somewhat more recent construction dominates on Ives and Gano Streets.

History[edit]

Fox Point was originally used for farmland, but its economy quickly changed to maritime affairs with the construction of Providence's first port at India Point in 1680, becoming a major trading point in the Atlantic Triangular Trade of slaves, sugar cane, and rum between New England, the West Indies, and West Africa.

Depiction of the Triangular Trade of slaves, sugar, and rum, with New England as the third corner rather than Europe

The neighborhood derives its name from Tockwotten Hill, which was largely leveled (along with slum residences) as part of a public works project in the 19th century. The fill was used to reclaim part of the Seekonk River now consisting of Gano Street and land to the east of Gano Street. Once the area's street grid had been laid, Fox Point developed as a residential neighborhood.

However, Fox Point became an attractive location for industry with the completion of the Boston and Providence Rail Road and regular steamship connections to ports along the East Coast. The new industry, in turn, attracted many immigrants. Irish were the first wave, and the neighborhood became home to increasing numbers of Portuguese and Cape Verdeans by the second half of the 19th century. Many Portuguese-American institutions remain in Fox Point, though the Portuguese community is much smaller than it once was.

The proximity of Brown University has led to a combination of student housing and gentrification in the neighborhood that has displaced many of the long-term residents.

Demographics[edit]

According to the Providence Plan, a local nonprofit aimed at improving city life, 78.6% of Fox Point residents are white, well-above the citywide average. In addition, 6.4% of residents are Asian, slightly higher than the citywide average. African-Americans and Hispanics each comprise less than 5% of the population.[1]

The median family income is $55,315, above the citywide average of $32,058. 8% of households live below the poverty-line while 2% of households receive some form of public assistance.[1] 14% of children under the age of six have been exposed to hazardous amounts of lead.[1] This is due to the prevalences of lead paint in older buildings.

Government[edit]

Fox Point is located within Ward One.[2] Ward One is currently represented in the Providence City Council by Democrat Seth Yurdin.[3]

Parks[edit]

India Point Park is located along the northern shore of Narragansett Bay, at Green Jacket Shoal and the confluence of the Seekonk and the Providence River. The park is the only large expanse of Bay-side shoreline in Providence preserved for public use.

Interstate 195 separates the park from the rest of Fox Point. Construction plans for the relocation of 195 include a new, larger pedestrian bridge over the interstate to allow better access between the park and the rest of India Point.

Friends of India Point Park[4] is a notable citizens organization interested in maintaining the park.

Other Parks include:

  • Gano Street Park along the Seekonk River has numerous athletic fields and a dog park
  • Roger Williams Landing

Schools[edit]

The Fox Point area includes only two schools. One of these is the French-American School, a private school teaching in both French and English from kindergarten to eighth grade.[5] It is located at 75 John Street, near the intersection of John and Hope Street. The other school in Fox Point is the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, located at 455 Wickenden Street near the Fox Point Boys and Girls Club. It is part of the Providence public school system and teaches students from kindergarten to fifth grade.[6]

Notable residents[edit]

  • George M. Cohan was born on Wickenden Street, the noted American actor, singer, dancer, composer, playwright, and producer. George M. Cohan Boulevard is named in his honor.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fox Point
  2. ^ ward1.jpg Archived November 15, 2006, at Archive.is
  3. ^ Providence City Council - Phone: (401) 521-7477 Archived November 13, 2006, at Archive.is
  4. ^ Friends of India Point Park
  5. ^ About The French-American School of Rhode Island
  6. ^ Vartan Gregorian School Profile - Providence, RI - CityRating.com

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°49′09″N 71°23′53″W / 41.8191°N 71.3980°W / 41.8191; -71.3980