Here is my Traditional Building blog post from a couple months ago, around the time some ardent local preservationists held a funeral for the John C. Fo- garty Memorial Building, soon after its demolition began. Soon after that its demolition was delayed, but now it is on again and the building, qua build- ing, is gone. All that’s left is the rubble, and that should be gone soon, too. The heart-warming photo above is from a video taken by the Providence Journal and linked to in a story below.
Readers with very long memories will see that this post resurrects a column I wrote for the Providence Journal back in 2007, with all discussion of the proposed demolition of the Police & Fire Headquarters removed. That demo took place soon after. The Fogarty survived another decade. The TB version is called “The Fogarty’s Demise: Not So Hard to Say Yes to Beauty.” Enjoy.
Enjoy? What about this! The Journal story that follows has a time-lapse video of the Fogarty being nibbled to death by ducks – the two machines that chewed away at it for weeks. The fall of the last wall is not shown, but interspiced are shots from many angles, and shots of the operators of the demo machines that suggest how much fun they are having and, perhaps, how much joy they are giving. The Journal story is called “Last wall of Fogarty Building falls in Providence.” It’s about three minutes of the most intimate pleasure that can be had by someone who truly loves architecture: A Brutalist building literally getting its comeuppance – getting what it deserves. … Ahhhh!