Westminster Stories is all about two blocks of Westminster Street in Providence, Rhode Island.

Situated between Union and Dorrance Streets in the heart of downtown, this small stretch of road is filled with stories about this remarkable city. This project, which ran from December 2009 to March 2010, shared the tales of people encountered there, information found in city archives, and the memories of people who remembered its past.

The project’s focus was an exhibit in an empty store window at 191 Westminster Street, between December 2, 2009 and March 12, 2010, containing images of the people and buildings featured, and themed labels that changed weekly. This website allowed us to tell more of people’s stories, to collect stories from others, and to reveal further research uncovered as part of the project, as well as to promote other Westminster Stories activities.

There was also a special event called The Museum of Westminster Street, that took place on March 5th and 6th, on the street itself.

Westminster Stories was a creation of The Museum On Site, a Providence-based organization dedicated to helping people understand their worlds through site-specific, free public experiences that share ideas and information in accessible and stimulating ways.

See the text of all of the window labels
See stories from some of the interviews

Praise for Westminster Stories

“Call it an art installation, call it a city in miniature, call it social commentary – but whatever you call it, head downtown to Westminster Stories.” — Providence Monthly

“This is really awesome.” — David W

“There is life and death on this two-block stretch of downtown Providence. Success and failure. And Losowsky and Monteiro are determined to tell the tale.” — Providence Phoenix

“This American Life for the street.” — The College Hill Independent

“I think that the loveliest art is that which is both experiential and filling a need. This is a wonderful gift.” — Nick S

Project credits

Created by Andrew Losowsky and Lyra Monteiro

Website by Neah Monteiro

Interviews by Betsey Biggs, Caitlin Fisher, Andrew Losowsky, Lyra Monteiro, Carmen Montoya, Diego Pirillo, Meghan Townes, Shana Weinberg

Historical research by Krystal Appiah, Andrew Losowsky, Lyra Monteiro, Jonathan Olly

Model creation by Zac Bruner, Sin Guanci, Meghan McKenna, Paul Nickerson, Jonathan Olly, Rachel Ramer, Sylvia Ann Soares

Label design by Josie Morway (josiemorway.com)

Printing by IO Labs

Photography by Kyle Born, Jan Bruder, Ben Carter, Matthew Cylinder (matthewcylinder.net), Caitlin Fisher, Bruce Gannon (pheonixphotography.net), Tobias Goulet (TMG Photography), Alisa Kotler-Berkowitz (Alisa Grace Photography), Peter Green (providencefalcons.com), Andrew Losowsky, Brian Mackey (fineartdigital), Kelly McGovern (km.doggyyap.com), Karissa Mlyniec (klmphotographyri.com), Lyra Monteiro, Neah Monteiro, Graham Newhall (inthereef.blogspot.com), Paul Nickerson (pnlucas.zenfolio.com), Britta Schellenberg (brittaschellenberg.com), Gregory Shumchenia (gspstudios.com), Nathan Tia (simplynate.com), Walter Tsui (waltertphoto.com), Cindy West

Additional thanks goes to the following people, without whom the project would not have been possible: Architect’s Inn in Newport, Bill and JJ from Newbury Street Properties, Breaking Branches Pictures, Morgan Grefe, Conor Landenberger, Barbara and Monty Losowsky, Mama Teresa’s, Steve and the guys at MAP, Kathleen McAreavey, Jadrian Miles, Sharon Monteiro, Ted Peffer, Erminio Pinque, Micah Salkind, Rebecca Siemering, The 201, Joe at the UPS Store on Dorrance Street, Kathy and Lindsey at Westminster Lofts

Supported by The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), The Providence Foundation, The Creative Arts Council at Brown, The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, The Graduate Student Council at Brown, the Downtown Neighborhood Alliance and Providence Art Windows

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website or in the window did not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Photo by Paul Nickerson