Greater City Providence

Art In Ruins: Then & Now


Photo by Jay Boersma from Art In Ruins

J over at Art In Ruins has a great Then and Now slideshow up on his site.

Some time in 2008 I stumbled across a website for Jay Boersma. Apparently, he was a RISD graduate student who used Sunday mornings in Providence as his time to explore and work on his graduate portfolio. Originally from the Midwest, Jay was fascinated by Providence’s mix of older architecture than he was used to seeing, with more modern interpretations as the City tried to reinvent itself. The facts that New England still clung to its Puritan roots, banning shops to be open on Sundays, coupled with the long-standing overnight parking ban made Providence his “abandoned set on a movie studio back lot”.

The slideshow J has created show Boersma’s ‘then’ shots from the 70’s and J’s ‘now’ shots of the same location.

Marcfoto has a similar collection on Flickr, where he takes historic photos of southern New England cities, and tries to recreate them in the here and now. Check out Marc’s photos on Flickr here.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • I can’t get the AIR slideshow to work at all. Has anyone else had any success?

    I took a look at Marcfoto’s slideshow of Providence (just click on one of his Providence photos, then click on his “providence” tag of the photo, then slideshow the images). They’re *extremely* impressive, probably one of the most comprehensive, flattering, yet honest explorations of the city.

    If I ever wanted to choose to send someone a link to give them an idea of what Providence is about, this is the one I’d choose.

  • It works for me, there are little arrows at the bottom corner of the screen you click to advance the images.

Providence, RI
5:13 am8:12 pm EDT
Feels like: 52°F
Wind: 13mph N
Humidity: 99%
Pressure: 29.91"Hg
UV index: 1
75°F / 55°F
81°F / 59°F
79°F / 61°F