Category Archives: Architecture

Old Journal Building, ho!

Once developer Buff Chace started saving downtown Providence by rehabbing old buildings into lofts, no building seemed to elude his grasp more dishearteningly than the Old Journal Building, built in 1906. It was downtown’s holy grail, but for years its … Continue reading

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Insurance for Mack rebuild?

Some spectacular good news about the Glasgow School of Art, whose main building, designed by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, burned down a month ago. It seems the school’s insurance may be enough to pay for reconstruction after its recent … Continue reading

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Fane tower = urban renewal

I cannot attend Wednesday’s public hearing before the ordinance committee of the Providence City Council. The committee will hear testimony about whether to raise the height limit in the Route 195 corridor by a factor of six on behalf of … Continue reading

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The architecture of the eye II

So whose eyes are these? Hint: She liked cat-eye glasses. Question: Is the beautiful pair of eyes behind these spectacles protected by lenses? Or could she have fun with her friends by wiggling her fingers through the frames? If so, … Continue reading

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The headache of modernism

CNN has run an article called “Looking at buildings can actually give people headaches. Here’s why.” Its author, psychology professor Arnold J. Wilkins of Essex University, in Great Britain, is right. Modern architecture can give you a headache, and it … Continue reading

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Bully for Chicago Union Sta.

In 2004, Chicago watched historic Soldier Field become a toilet bowl. In 2019, Union Station will become a self-inked address stamper. That’s the opinion of Elizabeth Blasius in The Architects Newspaper. “Will a proposed addition turn Chicago’s Union Station into … Continue reading

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The architecture of the eye

Above are the specs that protected the eyes of Le Corbusier from the world. He and I have one thing in common: poor vision. That is about to change. A week from tomorrow I will undergo cataract surgery. My vision … Continue reading

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So blame it on Washington!

No other world capital so directly expresses itself in architecture as Washington, D.C. Its classicism was selected by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to reflect the ideals of democracy, reaching back to those of Athens and Rome. Between 1800 and … Continue reading

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Signs of a city walkabout

My friend Maria Ruggieri and I went walkabout – as Crocodile Dundee would say – in downtown Providence yesterday evening. We popped into a number of new restaurants, the first being Layali, a restaurant/bar (opened by owners of the late … Continue reading

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Carlo Scarpa’s modernism

The identity of my favorite modernist architect has always eluded me. I am not familiar with the work of every modernist. But modern architecture is by its nature inferior to traditional architecture. At its heart is a rejection of the … Continue reading

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