The appliqué of classical elements to the shed that once housed Newport’s jai alai fronton may take the cake in the sweepstakes for the world’s most ridiculous architectural renovation.
Newport Grand, with its big red “S-L-O-T-S” sign emblazoned on its faux façade, circa 1997, has stumbled along ever since. Its appearance brings a chuckle from drivers on the Newport Bridge as they approach the City by the Sea.
But I kid myself. It is in all probability not a chuckle but a guffaw. It is hard for a proud city to reckon with a guffaw.
The May 6 news story “Paolino’s Newport Grand bid bets on table games” featured a black-and-white sketch of the shed dressed up nicely as a Monte Carlo casino. But a color version of the sketch on the Northeast Collaborative Architects website had a roofline colored so bright a green that it looked like shrubbery, as if the proposed casino had escaped from the popular topiary gardens in Portsmouth, at the other end of Aquidneck Island.
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