A place to go to: The Oral History of Federal Hill

The feeling of Federal Hill has always been the same. There is a certain attraction because of the fact that we settled here in the early days. I personally always have felt that Federal Hill should be an important place...

I’m willing to state that the future of Federal Hill will be much better than it is now and probably better than it ever was because we are modern. We’re going to improve, we are going to work for it and I as a member of Federal Hill will never never never put Federal Hill down. It is a place to go to.

- Vincent Pantalone, June 28 1979

The title of "A place to go to" comes from an interview collected in the Federal Hill Project within Rhode Island College Special Collections' Ethnic Heritage Studies Project.

Many of these interviews consisted of Italian American and Federal Hill residents either involved or affected by redevelopment that occurred during the 70s and early 80s. This era was preceded by a total recession of cultural and architectural upkeep of Federal Hill. The history of the area was nearly erased.

The interviews not only remind us of this history of Rhode Island's "Little Italy" but its continued existence as both a nostalgic and new community of immigrants. Federal Hill was defined, changed, developed and redeveloped several times in its over-200 year existence. This exhibit examines those shifts and returns to this concept of how Federal Hill has and continues to act as "a place to go to."

The featured work of this exhibit includes that of the Joseph R. Muratore collection and the oral histories collected in the Ethnic Heritage Series project.



j. Bruscini