An urban park in downtown Providence, Rhode Island that used to be the site of the Great Salt Cove.
The area where the Waterplace Park is located today was once a large body of water that was hundreds of acres in size. In the 1700s, warehouses lined Main Street. The 1800s brought the railroad lines and terminals. The railroad companies were allowed the use of a depot site to fill alongside the Cove, with the condition that they would pay to build a public park around the rest of the Cove - which they did. Walkways and shady trees were added. It was a great green space that is downtown, however, the cove was heavily polluted with waste from mills and slaughterhouses upstream. With no sewage treatment system until the 20th century, the rivers were the sewers. It was filled in with railroad tracks in 1891 and 1892 when the land was sold to the railroad companies. The area stayed dry land until the Providence Renaissance of the late 1990s; when the circular tidal basin Waterplace park was created and finished in 1994.
Today Waterplace Park consists of 4 acres and is a collection of cobblestone walkways, plazas, pedestrian bridges, gondolas, and other features near the train station and the State Capitol building in Providence. Waterplace Park is connected to 3/4 mile of cobblestone-paved pedestrian walkways along the waterfront known as the Riverwalk. Most of Riverwalk is below street level and traffic. Venice-style bridges for pedestrians cross the river. There are restaurants, concerts, and other activities hosted at Waterplace Park including the amazing WaterFire. It is a peaceful area with the buildings reflecting off the water and the views surrounding the green area is serene. Walkers, joggers, and bikers are plenty. Artists are sketching the city and can be seen daily. Visitors can enjoy the sights while traveling by gondola along the Providence River in the park.