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The Front Door Project highlights the entries to historic Rhode Island homes


Wreaths, mats, sconces, transoms, carvings, arches, and iron hinges – if you can use it to decorate an entryway, Deb Cohen has photographed it. A few years ago, Cohen started The Front Door Project as an Instagram hobby, thinking her affection for New England doorways was rare. Now, over 1,300 photographs later, Cohen has a website, 67,000+ followers, and many, many pictures of Providence.

“I really enjoy spending time in Providence,” she says. Cohen started the project in her native Connecticut, but the site gave her a reason to roam. “The Downcity and College Hill neighborhoods in particular are spots I admire for the architectural variety and history. Rhode Island is fortunate to have a large inventory of historic architecture in places where anyone can see it, such as Benefit Street in Providence or the various neighborhoods in Newport. Both of those areas are compact and very walkable, and make you feel like you have gone back in time 200 years.”

Cohen asserts that most of the architecture in Rhode Island is consistent with design patterns across New England, yet each antique home asserts its own individuality. “In general, historic houses were not cookie cutter, as so many new houses are from the 1950s and subsequent. Every home truly is unique in its own way, whether it be the setting, materials used, size and scale, or architectural details utilized.”