Seeing Providence Chinatown is an ongoing project using archival photographs and records to reconstruct an immersive 3D model of historic downtown Providence Chinatown in 1916. The process of reconstructing the neighborhood’s buildings, streets weaves together and interlinks the few images remaining of this once-vibrant enclave, of which almost no trace remains today. Beyond spatial reconstruction, the project serves to honor and support a deeper understanding of the community which once made its home on Empire Street, and what its story means for us today, especially as Asian Americans.
This virtual walkthrough will include a short presentation by Jeffrey Yoo Warren, the project’s creator, and a guided tour through the neighborhood and some of its buildings; questions are welcome throughout.
“Archival media offers a selective and partial view into the lives of marginalized communities, and those few accounts which exist of nonwhite communities are often distorted by contemporary racist views. My hope has been to use the process of virtual reconstruction to enable the public to see and experience this unique neighborhood as a vibrant and vital part of our history, and to enable a re-connection with a space that was erased from a very familiar part of today’s Providence.”
This project was inspired by and builds on the work of the RI Chinese History project by Angela Yuanyuan Feng, Julieanne Fontana, John Eng-Wong, and others.
Note: Capacity is capped at 25 people and priority will be given to Asian American visitors as part of AAPI heritage month programming.
It is funded by a mini grant from Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and supported by AS220 and Movement Education Outdoors.