Blog Post 7: Providence Public Library

This week, our excursion to the Providence Public Library reminded me in many ways of Zakros, the palace that I am analyzing for my final project. The Providence public library is both an important historical landmark itself, with its monumental architecture and John Brown donations, but also current community space. In this way, Kato Zakros could, and most likely was, both a political and communal space. The surrounding buildings at Zakros illustrate a “prosperous community contemporary with the Palace,” similar to how the John Brown house and other wealthy early New England houses of the time the PPL was built all echoed the Europe-looking, Neo-classical architectural style (Cline 2010, 512) .

Heavily neo-classical exterior:

Neo-classical symbology of the Enlightenment with the candle/lamp:

Along with historical grandeur, however, the PPL has a current, very-real use as a community center. After all, it is a currently used library and often houses events, specifically weddings in its ship room:

The atrium at the center of the PPL allows for people to discuss literature and meet today, but it also echoes the atriums found throughout Etruscan and Roman architecture. Zakros might have even had an atrium, as the Palace at Knossos had a lightwell, which has a similar design and function of an atrium (Cope, 2019).


Cline, E. H. (2010). The Oxford handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 3000-1000 BC). New York, Oxford University Press.

Cope, J. (2019). Knossos. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2019].