Need sigs vs. Fane today!

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On behalf of all Providence communities, the Providence Preservation Society and Building Bridges are calling on people to get local voter signatures on the attached lists by tomorrow to force the Ordinance Committee of City Council to hold a meeting and thus to hear local testimony about changing the height zone to allow (or not allow) the Fane Organization to build its 600-foot tower.

This petition is not for or against Fane but for letting the public speak about the tower to the Ordinance Committee meeting later this spring. The signature petition must be on the Council’s desk 10 days (not 10 business days) before its next meeting Thursday June 7, so that at that meeting it can order ads notifying the public about the Ordinance meeting for the required three straight weeks before its occurrence. And only this petition will require its occurrence.

So please, please, print out several copies of this petition list, sign it yourself, and find as many friends, neighbors, acquaintances and strangers as you can, today, Monday, to sign it. Then email Sharon Steele (, who will come herself or send someone to pick them up and deliver them to the Council officer assigned to verify the names’ status as Providence voters.

If enough people sign and the petition is delivered tomorrow, the legal procedure that is being followed will force the committee to meet and to hear local testimony – which is necessary because Fane has a head start in trying to delay a City Council vote until election time distracts Council members from everything but electioneering.

This is politics at its most local, where the rubber of democracy meets the road. Please get out and find folks to sign this petition!

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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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8 Responses to Need sigs vs. Fane today!

  1. Lesley Maxwell says:

    I’m in Cranston but using tax credits, etc. hits all of us. I’ll add that Providence is the Capital City of the State of RI & Providence Plantations of which I’m a resident, pay taxes, etc. The I-195 land belongs to ALL the people of RI, not just Providence. We paid to build I-195 & paid to tear down I-195. Everyone should get a say. Part of our tax $$ in other cities go to support the Capital – we shouldn’t be left out.
    Thank you.


    • Steve says:


      No you do not have any standing in a decision of the City of Providence. None.


      • Steve, Lesley has the standing that she claims, which is that of a citizen of Rhode Island to try to hold the state accountable for actions it takes in its capital city. Even though most of the money to build, relocate, and demolish I-195 was federal money, she pays federal taxes as surely as any resident of Providence, and has a right to a say in what happens in Providence. The I-195 redevelopment district is a state project, not a city project, though the state allows the city government some say in how it proceeds. The work is done in Providence, but under state auspices, and Lesley has standing to seek accounting for that work as well. She does not have a vote in Providence but she has a vote in Rhode Island, so she has standing equal to your own. She is correct.


  2. Deborah Dunning says:

    Hello David,

    Heard back from most of my 20 contacts they’d like to sign and return yet need to have it as an attachment in Word. Please send asap.

    Thanks, Deborah

    Deborah Dunning, Chief Innovation Officer

    Big Data. Bold Analytics. Better Bottom-Lines.™ O:401-270-7512. M:919-824-5509



  3. Steve says:

    I will be sending a letter of strong support for approval of this project.
    No to change those little town height restrictions in the entire district to be in line with the Financial District.

    As to design, that’s another matter.


    • And you have every right to do so, Steve. You have as much right to screw up what makes this city special as Jason Fane does, and those who oppose him have every right to oppose even legal development projects that, in their eyes, are wrong for Providence. Local zoning is where the rubber of democracy meets the road.


  4. says:

    Good idea …, but I’ll tell you , it’s a done deal

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Deborah Dunning says:


    Thanks for giving me the opportunity. I’ve emailed the petition to 20 thoughtful people.


    Deborah Dunning, Chief Innovation Officer

    Big Data. Bold Analytics. Better Bottom-Lines.™ O:401-270-7512. M:919-824-5509



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