Mission impossible in R.I.?

Marriott hotel set for October groundbreaking in Spartanburg, S.C. (DRSM)

Marriott hotel set for October groundbreaking in Spartanburg, S.C. (DRSM)

Here is a 10-story Marriott hotel scheduled for October groundbreaking in downtown Spartanburg, S.C. It is lovely, and it is being proposed, designed and built by people quite as human as those who do such work in downtown Providence, R.I., where two cheesy suburban hotels have been proposed that belong out on Jefferson Boulevard, near T.F. Green State Airport.

Is it truly beyond the capacity of Rhode Island architects to design something as beautiful as what is being built in Spartanburg, S.C.?

Spartanburg, S.C., for Christ’s sake!

Is it truly beyond the capacity of Rhode Island developers to imagine building something as nice as this hotel? Is it beyond the capacity of the political leadership of Rhode Island to imagine why the state should seek architecture of this quality? I say quality, not cost, because mark my words, the folks down in Spartanburg, S.C., are on a budget, too. Who is not on a budget? Is it beyond the capacity of Rhode Island newspaper editors to imagine why we don’t have to build junk in order to create jobs?

To be sure, the architect for the Spartanburg, S.C., proposal is not from Spartanburg, S.C. He is David M. Schwarz,  who runs a firm in Washington, D.C. He puts his pants on one leg at a time. Can’t our architects do that?

Just asking.

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.
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