We are approaching the six-month anniversary of the grand re-opening of Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, and residents are certainly reaping the benefits.

New floors, renovated rooms, and a partnership with Providence-area TV chef Walter Potenza are just some of the new things our 95 residents are enjoying in a place they can be proud to call home. Bannister Center is also home to the GO Rehab program – a state-of-the-art, comprehensive short-term rehabilitation program that covers all physical and mental needs that a patient could ask for.

However, what makes us unique is its history – especially its commitment to diversity.

The facility welcomed its first 12 residents as “The Home for Aged Colored Women” in 1890. The Bannister family secured funding from donors to make the home possible. The family was supporters of Boston’s Underground Railroad. The name of the facility was later changed to Bannister House to honor their contributions. Today, photos of the family can be seen in our lobby.

Our current facility opened in 1974, and it was completely modernized during last year’s top-to-bottom renovation.

In contrast to the modernization of Bannister Center, one unique feature that stands out is our historic chapel.

The multifaith chapel off our lobby has virtually been untouched in over a century’s worth of operation. The chapel plays host to religious services every Sunday, and on special days like Ash Wednesday. It is also open at all times to anyone who wishes to pray, meditate, or enjoy quiet time to reflect.

Bannister Center is proud of its African American heritage and is equally proud to promote diversity today among residents of any ethnicity or religious affiliation. All are welcome at Bannister Center.