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10/25/2021 Cranston delegation, Speaker Shekarchi kick off Knightsville revitalization with Mayor Hopkins
STATE HOUSE – Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, joined by Representative Jacquelyn Baginski and members of the Cranston delegation, presented a House legislative grant to the City of Cranston to kick off revitalization efforts in the Knightsville area. Mayor Ken Hopkins, along with members of the Cranston City Council, accepted the check in front of the Knightsville Gazebo.

“I am very happy to provide the funding to launch revitalization efforts in Knightsville and to preserve this historic public landmark,” said Speaker Shekarchi. “At the State House, every day we work hard on issues that matter to people. This historic area matters to the people of Cranston. In addition to the enjoyment this space will provide for families and visitors, it will also benefit the many local businesses and restaurants who contribute to our local economy.”  

The Cranston House delegation advocated on behalf of the legislative grant, which will initiate larger redevelopment efforts in Knightsville.

“The Knightsville Gazebo is a treasured Cranston landmark and a hub of community activity,” said Rep. Jacquelyn Baginski. “Residents enjoy going to concerts, picnics, and other fun events around the gazebo, and it’s a destination for patrons of our award-winning local restaurants and businesses to take a stroll after dining or shopping. Revitalizing this area will draw even more visitors to Knightsville and will enhance the quality of life in this vibrant neighborhood.”

At the ceremony, Mayor Hopkins outlined the City’s plans for the comprehensive revitalization, which includes a proposed pocket park at the area adjacent to the gazebo. The City plans to model the area after its sister city of Itri, Italy, with a central plaza inspired by the piazzas of Italy. A proposed central promenade will unify the space in the park and provide improved sight lines, and multiple walkways will improve access by connecting sidewalks to the interior of the park. A bocce court is also planned. The City Council recently passed an ordinance to rezone the area from commercial to open space.

“This gazebo represents a generation of hardworking immigrants, primarily who came here from Itri. Now, this outdoor space will provide a gathering place for generations of residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Ken Hopkins. “This grant marks the beginning of our revitalization of Knightsville and the third of our city neighborhood revitalizations. Similar efforts have been extremely beneficial for the community and businesses in Pawtuxet and Rolfe Square, and I’m delighted to begin revitalization efforts of our picturesque community center in Knightsville.”

Cranston City Council President Christopher Paplauskas, who has been very involved in Knightsville revitalization efforts, noted, “The Knightsville gazebo is an important space for community events. Its proximity to Knightsville and Randall Manors make it a great spot for residents to gather, but it has been in need of restoration. As we begin these efforts, it is very meaningful that the proposed site plans pay homage to our sister city of Itri and the contributions of our Italian immigrants.”

Several small business owners in the neighborhood attended the ceremony, and attendees were invited to view plans for the area. Knightsville is known for its restaurants and thriving small business sector, all of which will benefit from having an improved outdoor venue.

For more information, contact:
Emily Martineau, Communications Deputy Director for the Office of the Speaker
State House Room 323
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2466