Providence’s City Plan Commission voted unanimously last week to reject Rhode Island Hospital’s plan to demolish the oldest remaining structure on the hospital campus, its Southwest Pavilion. That’s not the end of the story, unfortunately; the hospital (owned by the Lifespan hospital conglomerate) can appeal the decision to the city’s zoning board. But the Plan Commission’s decision to reject the demo of the 115-year-old building was also a decision to reject a recommendation of the city’s planning department.
That took some balls.
Coincidentally, the hospital recently bought a patch of land near its campus that it says it no plans to use, but which also just happens to be the old Victory Plating site – land thought by many to be a better place to build a stadium for the PawSox after its owners’ pitch for land on the I-195 Corridor struck out last summer. RIH also says it was not planning to build anything on the site of the Southwest Pavilion. Hmm.
Last month I wrote “SOS for lonely medical relic,” perhaps a somewhat overwrought jackhammering of the hospital’s desire to demolish the lovely old pavilion, designed by Stone Carpenter & Willson. Let’s hope the decision by the City Plan Commission (I love it’s archaic name!) stands.
Here is today’s Providence Journal story on the unanimous vote by the CPC, “Fate of Southwest Pavilion in the air,” by Patrick Anderson.