Another of the symbols of the Providence Renaissance is the thriving Providence Place Mall. For years shopping had moved out to the suburbs but now Providence Place draws shoppers back to the capital city. Just up the hill is the luxurious Renaissance Hotel. The story of how it was built started back in the 1920’s when construction was started on a massive Masonic temple. Work was completed on the exterior walls and the roof was being completed. Suddenly one day all the workmen left – never to return. In a state where everyone knows all the secrets nobody ever had an explanation for what happened. Over the next 75 years the building became a ruin – boarded up it resisted every effort to develop it. Finally after the arrival of the new millennium work was begun on a new appropriately named Renaissance Hotel. Today the original massive columns of the masonic temple give it a grandeur and classical styling. Next door is the Vets, a magnificent performing arts center. Be sure to check their schedule for everything from ballet to philharmonic performances.