Providence Travel Guide

Providence Sights

Rhode Island State House

  • 82 Smith St. Map It
  • Downtown
  • Government Building

Published 07/11/2016

Fodor's Review

Designed by the noted architecture firm McKim, Mead & White, Rhode Island's beautiful 1904 capitol building has one of the world's largest self-supporting marble domes. The gilded Independent Man statue that tops the dome was struck by lightning 27 times before lightning rods were installed in 1975. The State Library on the north side of the second floor contains the military accoutrements of Nathanael Greene, a Quaker who served as George Washington's second-in-command during the Revolutionary War, as well as the state flag on board Apollo 11's first lunar landing mission in 1969. In the State Room is a full-length portrait of Washington by Rhode Islander Gilbert Stuart, who also painted the portrait of Washington that appears on the $1 bill. The museum's centerpiece is the original 1663 parchment charter granted by King Charles II to the colony of Rhode Island. Look for the brooding, dark portrait of former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who also served as U.S. senator. Guided tours lasting 50 minutes are offered on weekdays.

Sight Information


82 Smith St., Providence, Rhode Island, 02903, USA

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Published 07/11/2016


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