I-195 eastern front heats up

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Rendering of Spencer Providence plan for three parcels of 195 land east of river. (Providence Journal)

The I-195 Redevelopment District Commission hosted the latest skirmish in the war among three developers to win the commission’s approval to build on the east bank of the Providence River. I arrived at the public hearing but had to leave early, but from what I’ve read since, not much has changed.

My spies are working to get the deep poop on what happened.

At any rate, feeling for and against the projects seems to be solidifying, as Paul Edward Parker of the Providence Journal reported today. His story, “Three developers vie for Rte. 195 lots in Providence,” features this passage:

Public comment during the meeting was split roughly into two camps: neighborhood and nearby residents, who favored the middle-sized project, whose architectural theme mimics the 19th-century Providence waterfront, and construction labor union representatives, who favored the largest project, with a more modern theme that included the research and development labs.

Parker did not indicate whether the comments split evenly or otherwise.

Neighbors prefer the Spencer Providence proposal, which seems inspired by Fox Point’s architectural history, at least to some degree. (Parker for some reason used the pejorative word “mimics”). Construction union officials prefer the Carpionato proposal because it takes up all three development parcels compared with the Spencer proposal’s two, and would require hiring more construction workers. Nobody seems much interested in the Post Road Residential proposal, a suburbanish apartment complex with ground-floor retail that would take up only one of the three available parcels.

Parker described the Carpionato plan as having “a more modern theme,” but I’m sure he was referring not to its style but to the fact that research labs are among its features. My spies will no doubt inform me of any major design shifts in the Carpionato project, which has shown traditional aesthetic tendencies since its 2013 unveiling, and quite lovely, but has suffered backsliding in the gradual replacement of gabled roofs with flat roofs.

So far as I can tell, none of my usual journalistic sources have provided any new illustrations from last night’s event. I am traveling to Washington, D.C., tomorrow, and hope to have more to go on when I return next week. (I have pre-scheduled a host of videocentric blog posts from the past to assure readers that my blog has not taken a leave of absence.)

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 I-195 eastern front heats up

  1. Pingback: Box #1, Box #2 or Box #3? | Architecture Here and There

  2. stanleyxweiss@gmail.com says:

    Let Carp make good the fruit depo that sits idle for years now before excepting any new projects!!

    Sent from my iPhone



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