B_09 College Hill – Centered on St. John’s Roman Catholic Church (1871) – 352 Atwells Avenue (at Sutton Street) – Looking West from Prospect Terrace – The House at Pratt and Bowen Streets is in the Foreground – Downtown in the Middle

B_09 College Hill – Centered on St. John’s Roman Catholic Church (1871) – 352 Atwells Avenue (at Sutton Street) – Looking West from Prospect Terrace – The House at Pratt and Bowen Streets is in the Foreground – Downtown in the Middle
roman church
Image by California Cthulhu (Will Hart)
Centered on St. John’s Roman Catholic Church (1871) – The "Free-Will Baptist Church", home of the Starry Wisdom sect in H. P. Lovecraft’s story, "The Haunter of the Dark." Demolished 04-February-1992. – Looking West from Prospect Terrace – The House at Pratt and Bowen Streets is in the foreground.

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H. P. Lovecraft’s description of St. John’s in "The Haunter of the Dark" still says it the best, "Of all the distant objects on Federal Hill, a certain huge, dark church most fascinated Blake. It stood out with especial distinctness at certain hours of the day, and at sunset the great tower and tapering steeple loomed blackly against the flaming sky. It seemed to rest on especially high ground; for the grimy facade, and the obliquely seen north side with sloping roof and the tops of great pointed windows, rose boldly above the tangle of surrounding ridgepoles and chimney-pots. Peculiarly grim and austere, it appeared to be built of stone, stained and weathered with the smoke and storms of a century and more. The style, so far as the glass could show, was that earliest experimental form of Gothic revival which preceded the stately Upjohn period and held over some of the outlines and proportions of the Georgian age."

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Lovecraft enjoyed spending warm afternoons reading and writing here; and he was one of the park’s most frequent visitors. The view from here was also one of Lovecraft’s favorites of Providence; and is beautifully described in "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward." It’s easy to see why this was one of his favorite haunts; and has now become one of the favorite haunts and photo spots for his fans.

And Lovecraft might have been describing his own childhood, instead of that of the young Charles Dexter Ward, when he wrote the following as part of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward": "The nurse used to stop and sit on the benches of Prospect Terrace to chat with policemen; and one of the child’s first memories was of the great westward sea of hazy roofs and domes and steeples and far hills which he saw one winter afternoon from that great railed embankment, and violet and mystic against a fevered, apocalyptic sunset of reds and golds and purples and curious greens. The vast marble dome of the State House stood out in massive silhouette, its crowning statue haloed fantastically by a break in one of the tinted stratus clouds that barred the flaming sky."

Photo taken by Will Hart on 17-August-1990.

H_15F College Hill – Looking North-East with The First Baptist Church in America (1775) – 75 North Main Street in the Foreground and Thomas Street to Its Left

H_15F College Hill – Looking North-East with The First Baptist Church in America (1775) – 75 North Main Street in the Foreground and Thomas Street to Its Left
first baptist church
Image by California Cthulhu (Will Hart)
College Hill is mentioned in Lovecraft’s, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," "The Haunter of the Dark," and "The Shunned House."

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H. P. Lovecraft’s maternal ancestral church; where he once tried to play, "Yes, We Have No Bananas" on the church’s organ.

H. P. Lovecraft, in his, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," mentions this church twice; including the following sentence: "Then came the exquisite First Baptist Church of 1775, luxurious with its matchless Gibbs steeple, and the Georgian roofs and cupolas hovering by."

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Waterman Street is to the right, and is mentioned in Lovecraft’s, "The Call of Cthulhu," and in his "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward."

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Benefit Street is to the rear, and plays a major role in Lovecraft’s "The Shunned House," and is mentioned in his "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward".

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The Fleur-de-Lys Building (1885) at 7 Thomas Street can be seen behind the trees that are in front of the church. This is the home of Henry Anthony Wilcox in Lovecraft’s, "The Call of Cthulhu."

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The Providence Art Club (Founded 1880 – Moved Here in 1887) at 10-11 Thomas Street can be seen behind the church steeple. Mentioned in Lovecraft’s, "The Call of Cthulhu." H. P. Lovecraft and his aunts Lillian Delora Phillips (Clark) and Annie Emeline Phillips (Gamwell) attended art shows here; and this is where Lillian had canvasses displayed in exhibitions.

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Prospect Terrace (1867) at 75 Congdon Street can be seen in the upper left corner of this photo.

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The First Church of Christ, Scientist (1913) at 71 Prospect Street (at Meeting Street) can be seen in the upper-right corner of this photo.

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And the Providence Washington Insurance Company building (1850) at 20 Washington Place is in the lower left corner of this photo. This was originally built as the What Cheer building in 1850; and was the Gorham Manufacturing Company building before becoming the Providence Washington Insurance Company building. In 2009, it is being used as office space for the Rhode Island School of Design.

Photo taken by Will Hart on 20-August-1990 from the roof of One Financial Plaza.

B_08A Federal Hill – St. John’s Roman Catholic Church (1871) – 352 Atwells Avenue (at Sutton Street) – Looking West from Prospect Terrace – 2:17 p.m. on the Clock Tower in the Foreground

B_08A Federal Hill – St. John’s Roman Catholic Church (1871) – 352 Atwells Avenue (at Sutton Street) – Looking West from Prospect Terrace – 2:17 p.m. on the Clock Tower in the Foreground
roman church
Image by California Cthulhu (Will Hart)
St. John’s Roman Catholic Church (1871) – 352 Atwells Ave – The "Free-Will Baptist Church", home of the Starry Wisdom sect in H. P. Lovecraft’s story, "The Haunter of the Dark." Demolished 04-February-1992. Looking West from Prospect Terrace – 2:17 p.m. on the Clock Tower. The 16-Story building on the left is the Sister Dominica Manor (built as Bradford House in 1966 as one of three low-income elderly housing projects by Rhode Island Housing and the city of Providence) (also known as Federal Hill Manor) at 100 Atwells Avenue.

H. P. Lovecraft’s description in "The Haunter of the Dark" still says it the best, "Of all the distant objects on Federal Hill, a certain huge, dark church most fascinated Blake. It stood out with especial distinctness at certain hours of the day, and at sunset the great tower and tapering steeple loomed blackly against the flaming sky. It seemed to rest on especially high ground; for the grimy facade, and the obliquely seen north side with sloping roof and the tops of great pointed windows, rose boldly above the tangle of surrounding ridgepoles and chimney-pots. Peculiarly grim and austere, it appeared to be built of stone, stained and weathered with the smoke and storms of a century and more. The style, so far as the glass could show, was that earliest experimental form of Gothic revival which preceded the stately Upjohn period and held over some of the outlines and proportions of the Georgian age."

Photo taken by Will Hart on 17-August-1990.