"ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ~ Casino & Bandstand" Top 5 Page for this destination Providence Things to Do Tip by Pawtuxet
Providence Things to Do: 79 reviews and 157 photos
The Casino is not for gambling...but rather a victorian style dance hall used for weddings and large celebrations. The ballroom is on the 2nd floor...with a beautifully painted ceiling with cherubs,flowers,and such..all done in soft pastels . Porches surround the entire building...bar and fireplace on the 1st floor. Ideal for weddings...used often for photographs. Many Rhode Islanders speak of meeting their spouse at the dances in the Casino. It's a well loved tradition. Restoration of the entire building was done in the 80's, and the ballroom has been described as "A CONFECTION" !!
The original Bandstand was built at the beginning of the 1900's. The acoustics are wonderful. It was used for all the big band sounds as well as all sorts of other music. Eventually it deteriorated and was rebuilt in the 1980's. A friend of mine was the architect, Lombard Pozzi, and his genius was to build these columns out of fiberglass so they wouldn't rot again. You'd never know it to look at them, but what a terrific idea in a public park that is always under seige and fighting budget problems.
I'm so glad to see it still standing...and standing proudly!
Not far from the Casino and the Zoo is the little red cottage known as the Betsy Williams Cottage. Betsy Williams granted a large parcel of land to the City of Providence for the expansion of Roger Williams Park. Her cottage (c.1773)was restored and is a little historic treasure. Betsy was a descendant of Roger Williams, (founder of R.I.) who was deeded the land by the Narragansett sachems Miantonomi and Canonicus. Yes, that's correct. He did not steal the land from the indians. Our founder was the native's friend.
The Museum of Natural HIstory stands on a hill overlooking the lakes of the park. It houses a planatarium as well as an extensive collection of birds, shells, indian artifacts, rocks, etc. The building is a handsome yellow brick structure...open daily.
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