Column: Halt this attack on the people’s plaza

Latest design for Kennedy Plaza, in downtown Providence. (Journal archives)

Latest design for Kennedy Plaza, in downtown Providence. (Journal archives)

[This is my weekly column in The Providence Journal, a revised version of the post “Let’s ruin Kennedy Plaza” on my blog Architecture Here and There, written on vacation the day before the July 15 groundbreaking for this unfortunate project.]

* * *

For a city transit hub, Kennedy Plaza’s bus station, its five waiting kiosks and its fancy pavement lined with black railings, bollards, period lampposts and delicate street trees beat the pants off most civic squares around the world for beauty, even those that do not serve double duty as bus hubs — and ours serves single duty. Providence has hosted its transit patrons, including me, in high style for just a dozen years.

Now it appears we can say good-bye to all that — and hello to the ugly urban duckling, pictured above, whose groundbreaking was sprung on us last week.

[To continue reading this column, please visit The Providence Journal.]

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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