Monthly Archives: April 2019

Ban glass and steel in NYC

That’s really what New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, said. He called for a “ban” on glass-and-steel skyscrapers. But that is not what he actually meant. That idea would never fly in Manhattan. The mayor’s handlers are already walking … Continue reading

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Calm before the Fane storm

A quiet – or a quietus, as a friend from Boston might put it – reigns over the architectural landscape in Providence. Nobody is certain whether the city’s smackdown of the proposed Fane tower design trumps the authority of the … Continue reading

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Spirit of Benefit Street

By happenstance, much of my yesterday was spent on or near Benefit Street, long known as Providence’s Mile of History. The intersection of Benefit and College streets must be among the most beautiful in the history of the world, to … Continue reading

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Flèche of Viollet-le-Duc

The lost spire of Notre-Dame must be rebuilt, but how? An international design competition has been announced to decide how to rebuild it, whether as it was or as “adapted to techniques and challenges of our times.” These last are … Continue reading

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Rubbers meets the Rhode

Senate President Dominick “Rubbers” Ruggerio has introduced legislation in Rhode Island’s General Assembly to bar cities and towns from bothering the developers who want to screw this state’s localities and their citizens. Ruggerio was dumbfounded by the meanies of the … Continue reading

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Notre Dame redivivus?

Notre Dame lives! Monday was pure concentrated stress and sadness – the horror! – watching the spire teeter and fall, then seeing the fire creep along what remained of the roof toward the betowered west façade, and then, as flames … Continue reading

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More for my groaning shelf

Here is the UK Guardian architecture critic Oliver Wainwright’s critique of Hudson Yards, the “largest and most expensive private real estate project in U.S. history.” His article is called “Horror on the Hudson: New York’s $25bn architectural fiasco,” and it … Continue reading

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Sir Roger’s inevitable sack

Roger Scruton’s dismissal from his chairmanship of a commission set up to bring beauty back into the discussion of British housing policy was probably inevitable. Sir Roger is a voice of reason who will not shut up, and good for … Continue reading

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Final say on Fane design?

Fane tower supporters left Monday night’s meeting in full glum after the city’s design panel recommended against approving three of four Fane requests for exemptions from zoning that could kill the project. Opponents left in full euphoria, in the belief … Continue reading

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Block Fane tower Monday

Hope Point Tower should be called Hope Punt Tower. When it comes to hope for the livability of Providence, it punts. The tower’s design goes for its second session before the Downtown Design Review Committee on Monday at 4:45 p.m., … Continue reading

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