A side view of College St. Seen as part of a rare wide view of the Providence Athenaeum building, which offers an evocative side-glimpse of a spot half-way up the College Street Lovecraft knew so well. The perhaps c. 1900 card is here newly rectified, shadow-lifted and re-colourised.

Here we see the spot marked on the 1918 Plat Book map, with Lovecraft’s last home as the other highlighted spot.

A 1958 record-picture made on a glass plate shows much more detail, though is of course more than two decades after Lovecraft’s time and there’s been some overgrowth of the view. Still, one can see the John Hay Library behind the trees. Again, newly colorised.

Lovecraftian Mythos writers might wish to note the mysterious side-tunnel that this large image reveals…

The Athenaeum claims a connection with Poe dating to 1848, when he “is said” to have met many times with Mrs. Whitman in such alcoves and nooks as the library could provide. Lovecraft adds that Poe “wrote his name at the bottom of one of his unsigned poems in a magazine” there. Thus Lovecraft sometimes included it on his whistle-stop tour of Providence for visitors, though I’m uncertain if that would have involved entrance and browsing or just exterior architectural appreciation. I know of nothing to suggest Lovecraft ever had a subscription or ticket to this private library, though some in the circle of his aunts did (e.g. the lady who catalogued Lovecraft’s library at his death). He used the city’s main Public Library all his life, for free, and also had a stacks card there. Though, late in his life, a letter reveals that he went to The Athenaeum to consult some scarce books on the history of the defunct Nantucket whaling industry.