Posted by guest May 31, 2010 07:46 AM
The Wayland Square area of Providence’s East Side is a bustling place, with a myriad of stores and restaurants, a hotbed of activity particularly when nearby Brown University is in session.
But there's a quiet and uniquely historic side to the area, and that is what the Providence Preservation Society is exploring in its 31st annual Festival of Historic Houses, scheduled this year for June 4 and 5. The celebration will highlight the Wayland Historic District, which in 2005 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The signature event of the PPS kicks off June 4 with a Cole Porter-influenced "De-Lightful, De-Licious, De-Lovely'' cocktail party fundraiser of live music to take place in a historic home in the district. The next day, PPS presents its traditional house tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring distinctive homes in the district, one with dwellings reflecting Providence's late 19th- and early 20th-century domestic life.
For those in the geographical know about the east side, that district is roughly bounded by Arlington and Laurel avenues, Weymouth Street, Blackstone Boulevard, Butler Avenue, and Angell and South Angell streets.
Two speakers are on tap this year as well, Robert O. Jones, senior architectural historian for the Rhode Island Preservation and Heritage Commission, who will present "The History and Architecture of the Wayland Neighborhood'' and Wendy Brown, owner of Wendy Brown Fine Linens, who will discuss "Thread Count and Linen Secrets'' in her Wayland neighborhood store.
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the tour. For more information, visit www.ppsri.org.
Posted by Paul E. Kandarian, Globe correspondent