College Hill places fourth

The scene included with Thrillist’s ranking of College Hill, including the Art Club on Thomas across from the “creepy yet gorgeous” First Baptist Church.

The scene included with Thrillist’s ranking of College Hill, including the Art Club on Thomas across from the “creepy yet gorgeous” First Baptist Church. posted a story this morning ranking College Hill as the “fourth most beautiful neighborhood in America.” The website published the list, and ranked Boston’s Beacon Hill as No. 1. It’s hard to argue with that. But Thrillist cast its rankings in doubt with its description of College Hill by suggesting that the modernist Granoff Center, at Brown, contributes to the neighborhood’s beauty.

This is pure folly. Every beautiful place is not perfectly beautiful. Each has buildings that add to or detract from its beauty. The most beautiful have more of the former and fewer of the latter than other beautiful places. We all know which side of the ledger the Granoff sits on. It is sad that Thrillist’s judges are pikers when it comes to the arithematic of the pick.

Also, the photo above is not exactly the one I’d use. If I’d been the Thrillist photog, I’d have taken the shot from North Main Street, showing the front facade of the church (which it associates with H.P. Lovecraft) and the Art Club buildings arrayed just beyond, along Thomas. The Thrillist shot has the Darth Vader Building closing the view, a definite turn-off. Oh well.

Here is the entire list: 1. Beacon Hill. 2. Central Park West Historic District. 3. Bungalow Heaven, in Pasadena. 4. College Hill. 5. Garden District, in New Orleans. 6. Sea Cliff, in San Francisco. 7. Hyde Park, in Chicago. 8. Savannah Historic District. 9. Victorian Village, in Columbus. 10. Capitol Hill, in Denver.

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.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Architecture History, Art and design, Providence, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to College Hill places fourth

  1. That is one cool shot! Looks so cool there. I need to make my way out there one of these days.


  2. Chrissy says:

    love this shot


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