Cool Providence: The Athenaeum

Providence Athenaeum

H.P. Lovecraft visited often, calling it “a charming little library.” The art collection includes an original Édouard Manet. It’s the place where Edgar Allen Poe got dumped. And it’s also and where you might discover Walt Whitman’s handwritten notes on the pages of an 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass. Welcome to the Providence Athenaeum.

H.P. Lovecraft

If The Providence Athenaeum was just a historic library with gorgeous Victorian architecture, that would be reason enough to visit. But it also serves as one of the Providence’s core cultural hubs. It hosts music events, lectures, and art exhibits. The Athenaeum’s Salon series welcomes some of the country’s most celebrated writers, historians, artists, scientists, and cultural leaders to discuss topics ranging from Homer’s Odyssey to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, from the natural world to contemporary theater, from pub quizzes to poetry.

All libraries are cool. The Providence Athenaeum is next level.

Want to learn more? Atlas Obscura has a great feature about The Athenaeum that’s worth a read.