Prospect Terrace Park

Coordinates: 41°49′47″N 71°24′25″W / 41.8298224°N 71.4070008°W / 41.8298224; -71.4070008
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Prospect Terrace Park
The park after 2018 renovations
LocationCollege Hill, Providence, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°49′47″N 71°24′25″W / 41.8298224°N 71.4070008°W / 41.8298224; -71.4070008
Created1869 (1869)

Prospect Terrace Park is a park located on Congdon Street in the College Hill neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island. The park was founded in 1869, on land that was given to the city by residents of the neighborhood.[1][2] The park is known as "The Jewel of the City"[3] for its dramatic elevated view of Downtown Providence.

Author and Providence native H. P. Lovecraft frequently visited the park.[4]


A statue of theologian Roger Williams (designed by architect Ralph Thomas Walker) was built in the late 1930s after Williams' descendant Stephen Randall made a deed of gift for the monument. It was dedicated on 29 June 1939.[5] The approximate 15-foot tall granite statue commemorates Williams' founding of the state of Rhode Island and his promotion for religious freedom, and the statue depicts Williams gazing over the city.[5]

In 1939, Roger Williams' remains were moved into a tomb that lies directly beneath the statue. His body had been overgrown by the roots of an apple tree next to his original grave. The roots grew over the form of his body so that it looked similar to a human form. The remainder of his bones were reburied in a bronze casket and placed beneath his statue in Prospect Terrace. The so-called "Williams Root" is preserved and is now on display at the John Brown House Museum on the East Side of Providence.[6][7]

In 2006, vandals removed all five fingers of the statue's left hand, along with the thumb of his right hand. The damage was repaired in 2010.[8]

In December 2016, efforts were started by the College Hill Neighborhood Association to raise funds for improvements and restoration to the park.[3] New benches, signs, and landscaping, were planned.[3] Previously, the park had not been renovated for 28 years.[3]

The view[edit]

Admiring the view

Prospect Terrace Park attracts visitors and locals alike for its panoramic view of the city. From the elevated location of the park, one can see many of Providence's most prominent landmarks, from Providence Place Mall to the Rhode Island State House to the Meeting House of the First Baptist Church in America.[9] The park's west-facing view makes it ideal for taking in the sunset.



  1. ^ Hutchins Cady, John (1948). Highroads and Byroads of Providence. Providence, RI: Akerman-Standard Press. Prospect Terrace was established 1869 on land given by Isaac Hale and others, enlarged 1925-27. Roger Williams Monument was dedicated in 1939 (Ralph T. Walker, arct.)(15)
  2. ^ "Annual report of the City Auditor showing the appropriations, receipts and expenditures of the city of Providence, for the year ending September 30, 1913 with a schedule of the city property". Hathi Trust Digital Library. Providence, RI: City Auditor. p. 130. Retrieved 24 April 2017. PROSPECT TERRACE, on Congdon, opposite Cushing street, being lot No. 215 on plat 10, and containing 11,996 square feet. This lot was purchased by citizens of the second ward, and presented to the city Nov. 27, 1869, to be kept open as a public park.(130)
  3. ^ a b c d Pacitti, Tony (22 December 2016). "Fundraising Has Begun for Improvements to Prospect Terrace". Providence Monthly. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ Rubinton, Noel (August 10, 2016). "How to Find the Spirit of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Art Inventories Catalog (Smithsonian)". Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Roger Williams Root". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  7. ^ Bryant, Sparkle (October 19, 2015). "The Tree Root That Ate Roger Williams - Roger Williams National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)". National Park Service. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  8. ^ Hurst, Catherine B. "Roger Williams at Prospect Terrace Park". Choosing Providence. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Prospect Terrace Park Offers Commanding Views of Providence, R.I." The Thrifty New England Traveler. 15 August 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
Parks in Providence, Rhode Island

Burnside Park · India Point Park · Prospect Terrace Park · Roger Williams National Memorial · Roger Williams Park · Waterplace Park