Gun Totem – Providence, Rhode Island - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Providence, Rhode Island

Gun Totem

3,500 pound obelisk constructed with 1,000 reclaimed guns. 

Standing 12 feet high in front of Providence’s Federal Courthouse is an unusual monument constructed out of steel, concrete, and used handguns.

Dubbed the Gun Totem by its artist, Boris Bally, the imposing obelisk was constructed in 2001 with guns from a firearm buy-back program in Pittsburgh. Altogether, more than 1,000 guns went into the construction of the pillar, which was commissioned by the Providence Parks Department. All of the guns included in the project were disabled and fossilized beneath concrete, and bits of the pillar were chipped away so people could see the deadly layer beneath the its exterior.

Bally has teamed up with the gun program in Pittsburgh again and has been working on a new project, a series of gun-arches, using disabled handguns in the area.

Know Before You Go

This totem is across the street from the courthouse in South Main St. right along the sidewalk