The Skeffingtonian legacy?

Dave Koza drove in the winning run for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Rochester Red Wings on June 23, 1981, in a game that lasted 33 innings. (Pawtucket Red Sox via the Associated Press)

Dave Koza drove in the winning run for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Rochester Red Wings on June 23, 1981, in a game that lasted 33 innings. (Pawtucket Red Sox via the Associated Press)

Sunday, during a jog, the chief new owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox had a heart attack. Jim Skeffington’s death – may he rest in peace – thrusts his plan to move the PawSox to Providence into deep shadow. The plan was a good one; the deal he proposed to bring it about was not. No doubt the public subsidy was going to evolve in a downwardly direction. But was it? Probably. Enough to make it a good deal for Rhode Island? Hard to say.

Wade Boggs, center, with Marty Barrett, played in the 33-inning game.

Wade Boggs, center, with Marty Barrett, played in the 33-inning game.

It depends on whether Skeffington and his fellow owners considered owning the PawSox to be another opportunity to make a whole lot of money, or an opportunity to “give back” to the state. Skeffington in particular might be expected to have seen the proposal to build a new stadium in a better location for the PawSox in such a light – as a legacy.

What now? Again, who knows? Do Skeffington’s surviving owners have the drive he had to get this done? My take is that if they just want to take the money and run, the vision will fade soon enough. But if their aspirations, after decades of making money, can afford to be more noble, maybe they will try to make the deal with the state and the city that should be made, one that is affordable to the state, its taxpayers and the fans of PawSox baseball.

Although the devil is in the details, I like the look of the proposed new stadium. I think it would not only boost the team’s popularity but would inspire state leaders and the I-195 Commission to embrace architecture that builds upon the competitive strengths of Rhode Island rather than kicking ’em in the shins.

Maybe, after all is said and done, the PawSox will stay in the Bucket. Read former Providence Journal (now New York Timesman) Dan Barry’s piece, “A City Braces for its Ballpark to Go the Way of its Mills,” in the Times on McCoy Stadium, which ran on Feb. 24. Great stuff!

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. 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. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and 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 invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, 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, Art and design, Development, Providence, Rhode Island and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Skeffingtonian legacy?

  1. Pingback: Pawsox stadium talks dead? | Architecture Here and There

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s