Park or party at the Facade

The Weybosset facade, all that remains of Providence National Bank. (Photos by David Brussat)

Lovecraft party behind the Weybosset facade, all that remains of Providence National Bank, at left. Industrial Trust (“Superman”) Building is at right. (Photos by David Brussat)

The convention celebrating the 125th birthday of, and all things relating to, H.P. Lovecraft hosted a party in the parking lot behind the naked façade, next to the Arcade, that is all that remains of the Providence National Bank Building. Built in 1925 on Westminster Street and extended in 1950 over to Weybosset Street, the bank was torn down, except for the 1950 façade, in 2005 to make way for a 40-story tower that fell through. Now it is a parking lot – owned by former Mayor Joe Paolino – and last night’s extravaganza put it back into real use again. It goes without saying that AGTWHBA.*

Parking is fungible. Partying is not. A party, if it has any balls, must be scheduled in advance, and so kudos to Paolino for letting that party go forward. Yes, the organizers paid a fee to use the lot, but spurning the gods of parking was nevertheless commendable. Let them park elsewhere!

And actually there was parking on the streets nearby, which is not entirely a good thing. I parked steps from the NecronomiCon event. And yet all smart cities invite the “problems” associated with finding a place to park: it means the city is popular and vibrant. Pending the erection of another building on the Providence National Bank site, parking should share the space with partying (weddings, concerts, dances, etc.) whenever possible.

Anyhow, I enjoyed the event and had my camera with me, with results, from the party then walking back to my car on Weybosset, below:











* A Good Time Was Had By All.
Or maybe it should be “IGWS that AGTWHBA.”

P.S. Do any fotomaniacs out there know how to filter out those bright-light splotches in night shots without using an SLR camera?

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, Books and Culture, Development, Photography, Preservation, Providence, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Park or party at the Facade

  1. Pingback: Roses and raspberries, 2015 | Architecture Here and There

  2. Thanks, Glenn. I was afraid of that. You are a hoot!


  3. Glenn Turner says:

    Sorry David, but if you include light sources in your photos, you will get specular highlights, SLR or not. The stronger the light, the bigger the highlight. This problem is particularly bad in night photography when your lens is open wide. Best to re-compose or crop them out after the fact. A BB gun can also be useful.


  4. Stephen ORourke says:

    A bunch of dirty freaks!


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