home home art map sponsors community contact Home Artists Map Community Contact Home facebook twitter

Home Artists Map Community Contact Map Artists Community Home Artists map community Home Artists Map Community


Pawtucket is a city of 72,958 persons, founded in 1671, at the strategic falls of the Blackstone River and the upper tidewaters of Narragansett Bay. It is a city with a special place in the industrial history of the United States, for it was here at the Slater Mill Historic Site that Samuel Slater successfully constructed and operated machines for spinning cotton yarn in 1793. This was the beginning of the textile industry in the United States. Besides textiles, a variety of machines and iron working shops grew up alongside the textile industry.
By the late 19th century Pawtucket was probably at its height as a city of textiles and machinery and metal parts manufacturing. In the 20th century many of the industries moved south or became obsolete leaving a vast number of large industrial buildings. At the same time as the industrial base was changing, residential development expanded to the extent that there is very little vacant land left in the 8.7 sq. mile City. In 1970, Pawtucket's population of foreign stock included seven large national groups and a multitude of smaller ones. The legacy of industrial buildings, residential neighborhoods, parks, church and social clubs has remained a part of the City.
The Blackstone River, which runs through Pawtucket on its way from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI., powered the Slater Mill, America's first successful cotton spinning mill. Today, the Blackstone River Valley is a special national region, a National Heritage Corridor, a living landscape containing thousands of natural and historic treasures. The Blackstone River Valley is currently being considered for National Park designation.
Pawtucket is becoming known as a center for arts and culture. A recent NY Times article describes the city's efforts to attract artists. The 2008 documentary Pawtucket Rising also chronicled the influx of artists and cultural activities into previously blighted areas of the city. In 1998 Pawtucket City officials went to the RI General Assembly and lobbied for the creation of a 307 acre district, encompassing 23 mills and sixty streets. Enacted legislation would allow artists living or working in this geographical area to receive state income tax benefits or the waiver of sales tax on one-of-a-kind art work sold. At that time, only Pawtucket, Providence and Westerly, had arts districts. Today, seven out of the state’s 39 municipalities have arts districts.




Public Art in Pawtucket
Early History of Pawtucket
History of Downtown Pawtucket
Slater Mill Historic Site
Experience Pawtucket
Pawtucket Arts Collaborative
The Paw Sox - Longest game in the history of baseball
The Pawtucket Arts Festival
Blackstone Vallery Tourism

All rights reserved Exchange Street Open Studios Plus, 2013