The growing idea of promoting education to all in support of a free society was at the heart of this old brick schoolhouse. This building was completed in 1769 by John Smith and embodies a special kind of significance in the history of Providence. By 1800, this became one of the earliest public education systems.
Prior to the Old Brick School House being built, it was very common for families to home school their children or send them to private school. The School House is a representation of the struggles fought and faced by many residents of the area to create a new public school structure within a new and independent society.
Since its construction, the building has been used in many forms; as an arsenal during the Revolutionary War, a grammar school, a classroom space for Brown University, the first school for African American children supported by the city of Providence, a sewing and cooking school, a school for tubercular children, a school for children with disabilities, and today it is the office of the Providence Preservation Society. The variety of roles that this building has served is what makes it extra special.
The building is full of history and had been restored beautifully from the outside in. The Providence Preservation Society now owns it and took care of restoring it. You will find it standing tall with its gorgeous woodwork dated back to the 1700s. The front double staircase has also remained the same! There is so much beauty inside and it is by far one of the most important structures of Providence history.
Next time you are in Providence, be sure to drive by this gorgeous building!