Cranston, once known as Pawtuxet, is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. With a population of 80,529 at the 2010 census, it is the third largest city in the state. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Cranston. It is a part of the Providence metropolitan area. 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.
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.
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. According to the survey done by 24/7 Wall St website, Cranston ranked 36th on the list of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live”.