Historical walking tours will go online soon

Historical walking tours will go online soon

PAWTUCKET - The Pawtucket Foundation and the Preservation Society of Pawtucket have engaged intern Bill Rotondo to develop and complete an online historical walking tour of downtown Pawtucket and the city's riverfront.

Rotondo is a history major at Bryant University with a background in research and someone "who has an understanding of the importance that history holds for a city like Pawtucket," according to a news release from the Pawtucket Foundation. In addition to his studies at Bryant, Rotondo is an archives assistant at the Johnston History Museum and works with the Johnston Historical Society on the restoration of historic cemeteries.

Under the direction of the Preservation Society and the Pawtucket Foundation, Rotondo is researching and compiling the historical background and current status of relevant sites around the downtown and riverfront. That research is being incorporated into a Google Maps application that will also integrate photographs and web links.

The tour will include historic structures, monuments, parks, bridges, as well as "iconic views" of the Blackstone River and Pawtucket Falls. Rotondo will complete the digital tours by August, when he will return to Bryant University.

Project partners are focused on making the walking tours widely available and accessible to anyone with internet access. Aaron Hertzberg, executive Director of the Pawtucket Foundation, said the historical walking tours will be made available at experiencepawtucket.org , "helping to connect residents and visitors to Pawtucket's architectural past."

The goal is for visitors and residents of Pawtucket to experience the city's history "instantly and at their own pace." In addition to the Experience Pawtucket website, access to the historical walking tour will be available through the Preservation Society of Pawtucket and at various sites along the route of the tour.

Paul Mowrey, president of the Preservation Society of Pawtucket, is excited by the opportunity to make Pawtucket's history relevant in the digital age.

"The promotion and preservation of the city's historic sites is an important goal of the Preservation Society," he said.

Partners see the project as a way to bridge the gap between the Preservation Society's vision to safeguard Pawtucket's important history and the mission of the Pawtucket Foundation to make revitalization efforts happen.

"This project will serve as a great platform to showcase and leverage the significant number of historical assets in downtown Pawtucket as a means to bolster revitalization and development," said Hertzberg.

Buildings that have been preserved and restored into modern living spaces or businesses will be especially notable on the tour because of their importance to the revitalization of the city.