Based on historic photographs of The Providence Athenaeum, an independent membership library, the space doesn't look much different than it did in 1838 when it first opened — and that's ok with us.
The worn floorboards, cozy reading nooks, and shelves and shelves of new and historic collections make it the kind of place we always dreamed of living in (who hasn't imagined having a home with a book-lined library straight out of a nineteenth century mystery novel?), but we'll settle for the inspiration of being able to visit for a day.
The building and collections are open to the public, but yearly memberships ($35 for students, $160 for individuals, $195 for households, and $60 for a six-month introductory membership) are required in order to check out materials.
The Providence Athenaeum
251 Benefit Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
(Images: The Providence Athenaeum)