Postcard from Providence

In light of the new proposal for Kennedy Plaza and my response to it in a post yesterday, here is a column I wrote in 1992, looking forward to 1997. I reblogged it in 2014 after the last KP redesign proposal, and I am reblogging it again today. It has a bit on merging Burnside Park and KP.

Architecture Here and There

View of Kennedy Plaza from the "Narragansett Plaza." ( View of Kennedy Plaza from the “Narragansett Plaza.” (

Here is the 1992 column mentioned in today’s post “Let’s ruin Kennedy Plaza” in which I suggest merging the plaza with Burnside Park to form a Central Park for Providence. I also placed the bus hub under “Kennedy Park.” On the whole this attempt to forecast the success of what was still being planned in 1992 is mawkish and unconvincing from the perspective of 2014. I cannot suppress my belief, however, that if Providence had continued to build revivalist architecture it had built in the 1990s rather than shifting to modernism as it has, the city would have done a much better job reflecting the success predicted in this postcard. And now they’re destroying Kennedy Plaza, too.

Postcard from Providence, 1997
March 4, 1992

FLEW INTO GREEN at about noon, grabbed a cab to Providence, and checked into the Biltmore (the…

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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,, 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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