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Cranston, Rhode Island
The William Hall Library, Rosedale Apartments, Pawtuxet Village, the Furnace Hill Brook Historic and Archeological District
Official seal of Cranston, Rhode Island
Seal
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Country United States
State Rhode Island
County Providence
Incorporated (town) 1754
Incorporated (city) 1910
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
Area
 • Total 30.02 sq mi (77.75 km2)
 • Land 28.34 sq mi (73.41 km2)
 • Water 1.67 sq mi (4.33 km2)
Elevation
62 ft (19 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 82,934
 • Density 2,926/sq mi (1,129.7/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
02823, 02831, 02905, 02907, 02909, 02910, 02920, 02921
Area code(s) 401
FIPS code 44-19180
GNIS feature ID 1218689
Website www.cranstonri.gov

Cranston, once known as Pawtuxet, is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The official population of the city in the 2020 United States Census was 82,934, making it the second largest in the state. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Cranston. Cranston is a part of the Providence metropolitan area.

Cranston was named one of the "100 Best Places to Live" in the United States by Money magazine in 2006. It is among the top 25 safest cities in the country, according to CQ Press's research. Cranston ranked 36th on the list of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” in a 2014 survey done by 24/7 Wall St.

The Town of Cranston was created in 1754 from a portion of Providence north of the Pawtuxet River. After losing much of its territory to neighboring towns and the city of Providence, Cranston itself became a city on 10 March 1910.

History

Much of the area comprising modern-day Cranston was purchased by Roger Williams from the Narragansett Indians in 1638 as part of the Pawtuxet Purchase, and the first settler in the area was William Arnold, who was followed shortly by William Harris, William Carpenter and Zachariah Rhodes. Stephen Arnold, a brother-in-law of Rhodes and William Arnold, built a gristmill on the Pawtuxet falls and laid out the "Arnold Road" (modern-day "Broad Street") connecting it to the Pequot Trail leading to Connecticut. Arnold's son, Benedict Arnold, became the first Governor of Rhode Island under the charter of 1663. After area residents were unable to agree upon a name for a new town for decades, the Town of Cranston was eventually created by the General Assembly in 1754 from a portion of Providence north of the Pawtuxet River. Historians debate whether the town was named after Governor Samuel Cranston, the longest-serving Rhode Island governor or his grandson, Thomas Cranston, who was serving as Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives at the time that the town was created. In the early 1770s town meetings were held at the taverns of Caleb Arnold and Nehemiah Knight where Cranstonians voted in favor of a resolution opposing the British Parliament's Coercive Acts, and the town heavily supported the Patriot cause during the Revolutionary War. After losing much of its territory to neighboring towns and the city of Providence over the nineteenth century, Cranston itself became a city on 10 March 1910.

Geography

Cranston is located at 41°46′N 71°27′W / 41.767°N 71.450°W / 41.767; -71.450 (41.7732, -71.4533).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.9 square miles (77 km2), of which, 28.6 square miles (74 km2) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) of it (4.54%) is water.

It is roughly three percent of Rhode Island's total land mass.

The following neighborhoods and villages are located in Cranston:

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,990
1800 1,644 −17.4%
1810 2,161 31.4%
1820 2,274 5.2%
1830 2,653 16.7%
1840 2,902 9.4%
1850 4,311 48.6%
1860 7,500 74.0%
1870 4,822 −35.7%
1880 5,940 23.2%
1890 8,099 36.3%
1900 13,343 64.7%
1910 21,107 58.2%
1920 29,407 39.3%
1930 42,911 45.9%
1940 47,085 9.7%
1950 55,060 16.9%
1960 66,766 21.3%
1970 74,287 11.3%
1980 72,534 −2.4%
1990 75,043 3.5%
2000 79,269 5.6%
2010 80,387 1.4%
2020 82,934 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020

As of the 2020 US Census, there were 82,934 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 78.78% White, 6.34% African American, 0.50% Native American, 6.23% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 4.6% from other races, and 2.66% from two or more races. Latino of any race were 18.1% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 65.4% of the population.

The most common Hispanic background in Cranston is Dominican American and Guatemalan American, reflective of Rhode Island's Latino population as a whole. There is also a relatively large Cambodian American population centered around Park and Pontiac Ave in the center of the city. Italian Americans are still the predominant ethnicity throughout Cranston, numbered at 38% of the population. This gives Cranston one of the largest Italian American communities in the United States, similar to neighbouring Johnston, Rhode Island and North Providence, Rhode Island.

2010

As of the 2010 US Census, there were 80,387 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the village was 81.93% White, 5.26% African American, 0.32% Native American, 5.17% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.6% from other races, and 2.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.83% of the population.

1990 census

As of the census of 1990, there were 79,269 people, 30,954 households, and 20,243 families living in the city of Cranston. The population density was 2,774.6 persons per square mile (1,071.3/km2). There were 32,068 housing units at an average density of 1,122.5 per square mile (433.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.19% White, 3.69% African American, 0.30% Native American, 3.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.93% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.56% of the population.

There were 30,954 households, out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out, with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females of age 18 or over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,108, and the median income for a family was $55,241. Males had a median income of $40,031 versus $28,279 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,978. About 5.6 of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those ages 65 or older.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Four freeways travel through Cranston: I-95, I-295, RI 10 (the Huntington Expressway) and RI 37. Other state-numbered roads in Cranston are U.S. 1, US 1A, RI 2, RI 5, RI 12, RI 33, RI 51, RI 115 and RI 117.

Cranston is served by Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses. Amtrak's Northeast Corridor passes through but has no station in the city. The MBTA's Providence/Stoughton Line also passes through but does not include a station in Cranston. However, a station stop has been proposed. Currently, the nearest MBTA stations are in Providence and Warwick at T.F. Green Airport, the former which is also served by Amtrak.

Sites

RI Prison
"Howard Prison" in Cranston, Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century

The first auto race track in the country, Narragansett Park, located off Park Avenue, opened present-day Stadium Ball Field in September 1886 as a trotting track. Not to be confused with Narragansett Park a Thoroughbred horse track, located in Pawtucket, RI, which closed in 1978.

Cranston is home to the Budlong Pool, one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in the country. Built in the 1940s as a Works Progress Administration project, it is a staple of the community. It is located at 198 Aqueduct Road, off Reservoir Avenue (part of RI 2).

Sprague Mansion, an 18th-century homestead, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Thomas Fenner House, built around 1677, is one of the oldest houses in Rhode Island. Edgewood Yacht Club which is no longer standing was a notable structure on the National Register of Historic Places located on the Providence River.

Flood of 2010

In March 2010, after an overwhelming amount of rain, the Pawtuxet River overflowed. This caused many major sites such as the Warwick Mall, Contour Dental Laboratories, and the CLCF Building to be shut down and repaired.

In popular culture

  • Seth MacFarlane, creator of the animated sitcom Family Guy, said in an interview with a news program on WNAC-TV, Channel 64 in Providence, that the town in the show is modeled after Cranston, Rhode Island.

Sister cities

  • Italy Itri, Italy



Economy

Companies with corporate headquarters in Cranston include jewelry maker Alex and Ani and Coastway Community Bank. The first Del's Lemonade stand was opened in Cranston in 1948.

Sports

Little League

  • 1996 United States Champions (CWLL)
  • 2015 New England Champions (CWLL)

Education

  • Cranston High School East
  • Cranston High School West
  • Cranston Area Career And Technical Center
  • Western Hills Middle School
  • Hugh B. Bain Middle School
  • Park View Middle School
  • Hope Highlands Middle School
  • Arlington Elementary School
  • Chester Barrows Elementary School
  • William R. Dutemple Elementary School
  • Eden Park Elementary School
  • Edgewood Highlands Elementary School
  • Garden City Elementary School
  • Gladstone Elementary School
  • Glen Hills Elementary School
  • Oak Lawn Elementary School
  • Orchard Farms Elementary School
  • George J. Peters Elementary School
  • Edward S. Rhodes Elementary School
  • Saint Paul School
  • Stadium Elementary School
  • Stone Hill Elementary School
  • Daniel D. Waterman Elementary School
  • Woodridge Elementary School

School Committee

The Cranston School Committee consists of seven non-partisan members, six representing each of the city wards and one city-wide representative. Committee members are elected at city general elections to a two-year term, and as of 2014, members are limited to five consecutive two-year terms. The current Cranston School Committee chairperson is Daniel R. Wall, who represents Ward 6.

Notable people

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Scientists:
Dorothy Vaughan
Charles Henry Turner
Hildrus Poindexter
Henry Cecil McBay
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