Unwelcome Arnold House?

Alert: It appears that the agenda item for 21 Planet St. at the PHDC meeting mentioned below will merely be the house owner asking the commission for a continuance of his request for a permit to demolish it.

This Monday, 21 Planet St. is the first item on the agenda of the Providence Historic District Commission meeting at 4:45 in the Department of Planning and Development, 444 Westminster Street, across Empire from the old planning building. The agenda item published by the commission says there will be a public hearing on the fate of the house. The PPS News item on this meeting says there will not be a public hearing, at least not on the question of demolition, and is not clear on whether the item is still on the agenda at all. I will try to get a clarification on this as soon as I can.

Architecture Here and There

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 1.52.19 PM.png Welcome Arnold House at 21 Planet St., Providence (Catherine Zipf)

Is the Welcome Arnold House (circa 1785), on Planet Street in Fox Point, doomed to demolition by neglect? That’s the question posed by Catherine Zipf’s architecture column in today’s Providence Journal. She wonders whether its owner, Walter Bronhard, intends to let it deteriorate until it can barely stand. He has already applied to tear it down.

In “Will historic house face demolition?,” Zipf describes the history of the house and its current predicament, and explains how saving colonials in Providence has become old hat, almost a done deal as soon the plight of an old colonial house becomes known. “No one argues over saving 18th century buildings,” she writes. “We just do it.”

Good! But what about the Welcome Arnold House? Bronhard, who has not owned the house for as long as it has been deteriorating, “seeks permission…

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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, 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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2 Responses to Unwelcome Arnold House?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi … I enjoy reading anything you write!!’ It will be interesting to see what happens at the meeting…
    It has been a long time since our Fulton Street days… So many things you envisioned are now in place!!! Regards to all…


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