Cranston gazebo project kicks off Knightsville redevelopment campaign

STATE LAWMAKERS recently presented a check to Cranston officials for the revitalization of the Knightsville Gazebo, including Rep. Jacquelyn Baginski, holding the check, and Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, far right. / COURTESY R.I. GENERAL ASSEMBLY

CRANSTON – City officials and state lawmakers recently marked the beginning of a redevelopment campaign in the Knightsville area of Cranston, starting with the $10,000 renovation of the neighborhood’s historic landmark gazebo that’s long served as a community gathering place at the corner of Phenix Avenue and Cranston Street.

House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said the $10,000 legislative grant from the state government to be used to renovate the Knightsville Gazebo will lead to more significant developments in the area that will also be supported with state funding. But the gazebo project is very important to the people of the city.

“At the Statehouse, every day we work hard on issues that matter to people. This historic area matters to the people of Cranston,” Shekarchi said. “In addition to the enjoyment this space will provide for families and visitors, it will also benefit the many local businesses and restaurants … [that] contribute to our local economy.”

The gazebo renovation was also supported by state Rep. Jacquelyn Baginski, D-Cranston.

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“The Knightsville Gazebo is a treasured Cranston landmark and a hub of community activity,” Baginski said. “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.”

Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins said the next projects in the city’s comprehensive revitalization, which relies on state funding, will include the construction of a proposed park adjacent to the gazebo. Hopkins said the city plans to model the area after its sister city of Itri, Italy, with a central plaza inspired by the piazzas of Italy.

Hopkins said a proposed central promenade will unify the space in the park and multiple walkways will improve access by connecting sidewalks to the interior of the park area. A bocce court is also planned, the mayor said.

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.

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