Chester Smolski


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The Randall Square synagogue was demolished as part of a large land clearing in order to make room for light manufacturing, commercial development and the Marriott Hotel.


This site was the original meeting place of the preexisting Chevrah (congregation), and Congregation The Sons of Zion was a third Orthodox Congregation, chartered in 1875 by a group of Jewish immigrants. There was also a synagogue opened on Canal street nearby in 1882, and upon being "outgrown" Rabbi Rabinovitz in 1888 procured the money and labored four years to create the The Orms Street Synagogue, consecrated in 1893. However, in the 70s, with the construction of the Marriott Hotel, the synagogue was demolished. It is hard to research the why, or what I mean is the how, but redevelopments in this area were made to construct I-95. A suit was issued in 1971 by the congregation against the Providence Redevelopment Agency. A sad loss.


This object from the Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates are the intellectual property of Rhode Island College. This digital object is protected by copyright and/or related rights. The digital material presented here is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This content can be used, shared, or adapted for educational and scholarly purposes. For permissions to use this item please contact All uses must include appropriate attribution.

Recommended Citation

Chester E. Smolski photographic slides and publications, MSS-0041, Special Collections, James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College.


Providence, RI, demolition, land use, vacant land use, city planning, community investment