Category Archives: Architecture

New and old on Westminster

Several years in the making, renovations on downtown’s Westminster Street between Union and Mathewson are almost done. It will take more time, and possibly the extirpation of coronavirus “and stuff” (as my son puts it), for the buildings to be … Continue reading

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Disrupt architecture now!

So proclaims Pittsburgh architect Anne Chen in “Let’s Change the Language of Buildings for the Future,” in Architect magazine. Huh? I thought that’s what architects have been doing for the last century. Here is her thesis: As a nation, we … Continue reading

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Animal spirits of the E.O.

The General Services Administration, which designs, builds and maintains all federal buildings, has issued a pair of RFQs (Request for Qualifications) for architects to design two federal courthouses, one in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and another in Huntsville, Ala., in a … Continue reading

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Still attacking Kennedy Plaza

A sensible plan to renovate Kennedy Plaza attractively without evicting public transit from Providence’s central square – by far its most logical location – was submitted in 2013, designed by Union Studio. In 2015, this plan was frog-marched out of … Continue reading

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Fly train through Wuppertal

This old video, just over two minutes in length, takes viewers through the western German city of Wuppertal, population 354,382 (almost double that of Providence), on a “flying”  or “floating” train a year after its completion in 1901. The Schwebebahn … Continue reading

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‘Ask Dr. Downtown’ revisited

In my last post, “Modern Diner, USModernist,” I promised USModernist talk host George Smart (aka Mr. Modernism) to send him an example of my old “Ask Dr. Downtown” columns, from when I did a column of architecture criticism every Thursday … Continue reading

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Modern Diner, USModernist

Great good news! I just now learned that, after half a year of closure, the excellent Modern Diner, in Pawtucket, has reopened. There is, I should say, nothing modern about the Modern Diner, just a ways down Hope Street, then … Continue reading

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Paris of the Middle East

It’s been several decades since Beirut was commonly known as the Paris of the Middle East. The recent explosion, which devastated the port and wreaked serious damage on nearby central areas of the city, only adds to its problems – … Continue reading

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Creative capitulation in Prov

In recent decades, art in Providence has served as a wrecking ball aimed not just at beauty but at the very concept of art, in a city that depends on art for its historical character, even as it brands itself … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Providence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gehry Ike in its kitschy glory

Frank Gehry’s monument to hims– oops, I mean to Dwight Eisenhower, does not open to the public until this Sept. 18, pushed back by the pandemic from May 8, the 75th anniversary of his victory in the European theater of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments