By Alana Cerrone
In Central Falls, there's a hidden gem… that's not so hidden.
Cogswell Tower stands in the middle of Jenks Park and is the highest point in the city of Central Falls.
Even though residents walk through and hang out in that park every day, most have never stepped foot inside the tower.
Central Falls residents are plenty familiar with Jenks Park as a place to walk their dog, have a picnic, or even just to cut through to Broad Street. But in that same park stands Cogswell Tower. In the city that's only one square mile, the tower is hard to miss.
Built in 1904 as a gift from Caroline Cogswell, the 70-foot tower became a defining symbol of Central Falls.
“It's something that the city takes pride in. It's in fact our city seal,” says Blake Collins, Communications and Outreach Coordinator.
These days, people are allowed inside the tower only during special events.
Parks and Recreation Director, Josh Giraldo, is trying to change that, and open it to the public.
The city has started to schedule tours of the tower, which offers stunning 360 views that reach from the mills in Cumberland and Pawtucket all the way to the State House and the Providence skyline.
Giraldo explains, “They're amazed when we tell them it's over 100 years old and they come up to the top of the tower and they look out and they're looking for their house or historical landmarks in the community. They get really excited.”
The tower is certainly worth a visit, just be prepared to climb stairs—lots of them.
While the view from the tower may be beautiful, down below, there's even a cave, and it's right through this door.
“When they go to the vault underneath, they say it looks like a bat cave,” says Giraldo.
Just like the tower, it's only used for special occasions. You can catch a movie inside, or at Halloween, it's transformed into a haunted cave. A couple even got married inside.
Take a walk back outside and you'll see the rock that, as Josh tells ABC6, every kid in Central Falls has jumped off of.
Change is coming, though, for the 125-year-old park. Last year the city was awarded a Department of Environmental Management grant to replace the playground, fix the fountains, and renovate the tower roof.
If you're wondering how Central Falls got its name, it's because it is home to the "central" fall on the Blackstone River, right between Valley Falls and Pawtucket Falls.
For more information on the tower and the special events and programs held in Jenks Park, visit abc6.com.
See the full version of this story with video here.
Photo Cred. Alana Cerrone, ABC 6.