Snow graces Providence

Dante examines balustrade of John Hay Library at Brown University.

Dante examines balustrade of John Hay Library at Brown University.

Here are a few shots I’ve taken over the years during and after snowstorms in downtown Providence. To read the text accompanying the photos, please visit my slide show at, entitled “Dr. Downtown’s Snowy Providence.” I’m not sure I’m allowed to reproduce its text here, but I can reproduce my own photographs. (For those readers who don’t yet know, I write a weekly column for, mostly about the intersection between architecture and economic development.)

The point of my slide show for GoLocal is that classical architecture, and in particular the place of rest it offers to snow, takes what many people would consider a problem and turns it into a blessing: beauty. The photos make the case by themselves. The text is there mainly to have something to go with the photos in the slide format, though some might deem the text a blessing, too. (Dr. Downtown is an alter ego for your devoted correspondent’s lighter side that goes back to his years at the Journal.)

snowy10 snowy7 snowy2

snowy8 snowy1 snowy3 snowy4 snowy6 snowy5

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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5 Responses to Snow graces Providence

  1. Michael Tyrrell says:

    David, isn’t it wonderful how snowfall masks modernity, and brings out the aesthetic charm and civility of old?! The snow is ageless. We see what our 19th Century predecessors saw. These storms are like time machines.


    • Absolutely right, Michael. Whereas traditional architecture allows nature to be at her best even in problematic snowstorms, modern architecture offers snow little or no opportunity to put on a show.


  2. Timothy Lehnert says:

    Wonderful pictures. If you ever want a superlative wintertime experience, walk Old Montreal in the winter after a snow. Magical. This winter has been a pain, but the aesthetics can’t be beat. Plus snow muffles traffic roar.



    • I’ve been to twice to both Montreal and Quebec City, Tim, the latter on my honeymoon with Victoria, but to neither in winter. How would you compare Montreal to Quebec City as winter wonderlands?


  3. Anne Fairfax says:

    here’s a man who really knows how to stop and smell the snowflakes!


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