A pause in Pawtucket

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A window at Tolman High School, Pawtucket. (Photos by David Brussat)

Last weekend we visited a lamp manufacturer who was having a sale on Victoria’s favorite lamps, by Tracy Glover. We then did the Foundry Sale at the Pawtucket Armory, next to Tolman High School. Both Tolman and the Armory inhabit imposing buildings, neoclassical and Gothic respectively, and across Exchange Street is a set of old mills rehabbed by the Pawtucket-based interior designer of restaurants worldwide, Morris Nathanson.

I had my camera and took some pictures. None of these buildings involve spectacular architecture. But that is whole the point. Classical, traditional and vernacular types of architecture use a combination of well known and beloved forms that may not always add up to great architecture but usually add up to great beauty. Beauty is not that hard to achieve if you know how to do it, and it does not take a genius to find novel ways to assemble its parts. It does not, for that matter, take a genius to realize that a novel composition is not necessarily the most beautiful composition.

What difference does beauty make? I suppose that’s for another day.

Anyhow, here are a set of photos that start with Tolman and then go on to the Armory and finally the mill complex across the street.

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[This post goes onto my blog but not out to my blog send list recipients until my email server quits intercepting my bulk posts under the suspicion that they are spam. I am sorry to say that for the time being those who want to read my posts will have to visit my blog, or get them on social media. I will see if I can send to TradArch and Pro-Urb lists without punishment. – David Brussat]

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, Architecture Education, Architecture History, Art and design, Development, Photography, Rhode Island, Urbanism and planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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