“Lost Prov” blasts off today

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The author autographs his first copy of Lost Providence. (Anne Marie Keohane)

Today is the day my book Lost Providence goes on sale. At least a hundred people have already pre-ordered it from History Press/Arcadia Publishing, and that was as of two weeks ago. The official launch of the book will be this evening at Symposium Books, 240 Westminster St. in downtown Providence. I will be there at 6 p.m. to read a chapter, answer questions and sign books, but the shop has been selling the book for a couple of hours now since it opened at 10 a.m. this morning.

I just happened to walk in immediately after Anne Marie Keohane, who owns the shop along with Scott McCollough, had sold a copy to a gentleman named Vincent. Anne Marie alerted Vincent that the very writer of the book had just entered the shop. He asked me to autograph it, and I did so, adding an inscription, during which space of time Anne Marie took the photograph that, with some misgivings, graces the top of this post.

The book, if I may be forgiven for saying so myself, is a unique history of Providence written in terms of its physical changes. Those who know the city of today will be intrigued by the book’s descriptions of how the places they know have changed. Those who do not know Providence will want to, and will want to see a city that has done such a good job at preserving so much of its built heritage. And many readers in both categories will, I hope, embrace the author’s desire for Providence and every other city and town to design its future with an eye toward the sort of architecture people can love.

So I hope readers will drop in on Symposium this evening to become listeners. I still have not decided what chapter to read. I will probably do so at the last moment, which is my general practice in all things. So please come in, and please buy a copy of the book.




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.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Architecture History, Preservation, Providence and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to “Lost Prov” blasts off today

  1. Book* (sorry about the typo in the previous message). Planning on parchasing the book this weekend.


  2. David, Congratulations on the boom! What a great achievement! I look forward to reading it!!


  3. indisco33 says:

    Congratulations, David. Look forward to purchasing the book. Any way you can post a listing of your upcoming readings/signings? Thanks.


    • Thanks so much, Indisco. You can get a list of events on my blog by clicking the picture of the book. That will take you to the book page, and the calendar of book events is a couple of pops down.


  4. Michael Tyrrell says:

    Congratulations, David! I look forward to ordering a copy.
    (I love your selection for the cover!)…


    • Thank you, Micheal. We will meet for a drink so that I can inscribe the book. And congratulations to you for your excellent comments on the stadium issue in that long Journal analysis – and to your being applauded days later in a letter to the editor. Way to get into the public’s face!


  5. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, CDavid, on your launching of Lost Providence. Hope to see you in Newport later this month.
    Shirley Utterback (Saving Providence)


  6. Congratulations, David. You are off on a great journey.


    • Yes, last night’s launch at Symposium Books was a doozy. I hope the remaining 11 events (at last count) are as stimulating. It really does seem as if I’ve taken the first step in a real journey – though I guess the writing of the book was the real first step. That seems like an eon ago!


  7. A Subscriber says:

    Just ordered mine from Amazon, as well. There were only two left when I logged in!


    • I will convey that information to History Press, though I suspect they are right on top of it. I hope you will enjoy the book. How can I get it autographed for you?


      • A Subscriber says:

        Um … [scratches head]


        • Yes, my first sold copy of the book. That of course does not include the sales via Amazon, History Press and other online outfits. Obviously I cannot sign those books.


          • A Subscriber says:

            Well, tell you what: I’ll take a screenshot of this dialogue, print it, and then paste it inside the front cover when it arrives in the mail on Friday (9/1).

            It’ll be a ‘signing in spirit’! – Don’t wanna call it a ‘spiritual signing’, as that would sound too overwrought. Still, I appreciate your kind intent. Thank you for that, Dave.

            PS: And in 40 years, it’ll be worth millions of $$. 😉


  8. Noah Schwartz says:

    Congratulations, David!


  9. Margot M Ellis says:

    Bravo David! If I were East, I would be in the audience tonight. Enjoy your moment. It’s such a thrill and I look forward to my own copy, and perhaps an autograph from you!


    • Last night’s event at Symposium was very satisfying. The audience was perfect and after I had read Chapter 9 “Lost: The Outlet Co. Building,” a vigorous discussion ensued in the Q&A. I enjoyed myself immensely and felt that I got out a lot of the points on architecture that I had wanted to make, above and beyond comments on individual buildings and aspects of local history, invigorating as that was. Wish you’d been there – but a seat might have been hard to come by.


  10. PHILIP JAMESON says:

    Just ordered it from Amazon. Good luck, Philip


  11. James Kelley says:

    What was lost has now been found. Thank you! Really looking forward to getting my copy to see what “where “x” used to be” in the odd (“modern”) or empty places I have seen in Providence.


    • Thanks so much, James. Of course I cannot say that the book will reveal the sordid history of every parking lot in the city, but I hope you will be pleased anyway with a book that hopes to fulfill whatever pretensions it actual has!


  12. Eric Daum says:

    Congratulations, David! Looking forward to getting my copy.


  13. Many, many thanks, Peter! Vin Buonanno? You don’t say! I am very happy to hear it. Brown has graciously joined PPS and PPL in sponsoring my book event (is more than one book “launch” permitted?) at the Providence Public Library on Wednesday, Sept. 20.


  14. Peter Mackie says:

    David, Congratulations on your completion of this most important book. It just so happens that the Vin you signed for is Vin Buonanno, who was chair of Brown’s Facilities and Design Committee and is an ardent supporter of classical architecture. How appropriate! I have suggested to the Brown Bookstore that they have a book signing. Hope it happens. Best, Peter Mackie ‘59 >


  15. Congratulations David!


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