Located on Benefit Street just a short distance from the home of Sarah Helen Whitman, the Providence Athenaeum was founded in 1836. It operated as a member-funded library open to the public, and continues to do so. The library was a frequent hangout of the courting Helen and Poe, and served as a sanctuary for the couple to have their privacy from the disdaining Mrs. Power (Helen’s mother).
It was here that Helen received an anonymous note telling her of Poe’s broken promise of sobriety that ultimately ended their short engagement.
You can visit their website at providenceathenaeum.org for further details and membership information as well as their hours of operation.
Fun Fact: The Athenaeum is a dog-friendly establishment. So bring your four legged friend along with you on your next visit!