The Westminster Street shopping area was closed to vehicular traffic in the early 1960s in an effort to bring shoppers back to downtown Providence.
This layout was an attempt to draw in Downcity customers and slow the mass exodus of commerce into suburban malls. It was ultimately unsuccessful, and the pedestrian mall gave way to a city street in the early 80s.
With a massive revitalization effort in the late 90s, Westminster Street came back from it’s reputation as the seedy, neglected home to adult entertainment stores and questionable bars. Eventually, it gave way to sophisticated, urban housing, and small local businesses that undeniably represent the flavors and tastes of our Renaissance city.