Hidden PVD

A Peek Inside the Cranston Street Armory

Providence Monthly Magazine ·

The Cranston Street Armory is a breathtaking backdrop to the city’s West Side neighborhood. You could do a lot worse for iconic landmarks. My wife and I had a killer view of it from an old apartment for a few years, and I feel confident saying that there are few views in the city better than the sight of a beautiful golden sunset hitting those orange bricks. As cool as it is to gaze up at it, one burning question remained: What does it look like inside? A few people knew the answer, but for a lot of us it was a mystery.

As part of this year’s PVDFest, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association gave people an answer in the form of a 30-minute tour. In a word: huge. The main hall, since the National Guard stopped using it, has been home to everything from the state fire marshall’s office to Mayor Elorza’s inaugural ball to, yes, a soundstage for the filming of Underdog. Long term, the WBNA is looking into re-use options for the structure, but for now it was exciting to get even the tiniest peek inside the massive castle. The tour was limited – there are safety issues with a lot of the building – but one look at the cavernous drill hall suggests some pretty awesome possibilities.

Tony Pacitti, Providence Monthly, Cranston Street Armory, PVDFest, West Broadway Neighborhood Association, WBNA, Underdog, Mayor Elorza, National Guard

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