Category Archives: Uncategorized

Providence riots, 1824, 1831

Here is my Feb. 24, 2005, column in the Providence Journal, headlined “Hardscrabble and Snowtown of yore”: *** HARDSCRABBLE and Snowtown are old Providence neighborhoods that have fallen off the map. In 1824, Hardscrabble was a poor enclave of houses … Continue reading

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Henry James inhales Nimes

Here is a passage from A Little Tour in France, by Henry James, published in 1884. In this passage he is in Nîmes, a town in Provence best known for the Maison Carrée, a survivor from Roman days that inspired … Continue reading

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Fane tower & Hudson Yards

A relic of dated 2000s thinking, nearly devoid of urban design, it declines to blend into the city grid. The Fane tower, right? That building proposed for the Jewelry District near downtown Providence? No. In fact, it’s the Hudson Yards … Continue reading

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Professor Curl’s victory

This year’s Arthur Ross laureates, just announced by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, honored such luminaries as Julian Fellowes, creator of and writer for the Downton Abbey series, the classical architects Jaquelin Robertson and Gil Schafer (two separate … Continue reading

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If modernists ran the NFL

To rev ourselves up for the Patriots and the Rams in the Super Bowl this weekend, here is what the game of football might be like if it were run by modernists. In “Driehaus prize goes to Culot” I noted … Continue reading

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Bad trad and good trad

Two articles fished from today’s indispensable ArchNewsNow.com, the thrice-weekly free compendium of anglospherical articles on architecture, edited by Kristen Richards, show the use and misuse of classical traditions on opposite sides of the world. Guess which is which, above and … Continue reading

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SpongeBob HouseFancy

The other day my son Billy replayed for me an episode he had just watched of “SpongeBob SquarePants” (a cartoon that takes place at the bottom of the ocean). Billy, who is 9, thought I would like it, and he … Continue reading

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HQ2 twofers and Providence

Two major eastern cities have won the HQ2 sweepstakes, and you have to wonder whether the twofers – Long Island City and Crystal City, outside Manhattan and D.C. – both realize they got half a loaf. How soon will it … Continue reading

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Halloween in Providence

Last night’s Halloween trick-or-treat scene near our little house on Providence’s East Side showcased the charms of our more modest nook of the Blackstone neighborhood. On account of its evident friendliness, our district is usually mobbed by families from other … Continue reading

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Hewitt on Yale’s new colleges

Yale University’s two new academic residences have received much praise (and much of its opposite) from critics, and its designers at Robert A.M. Stern Architects have won a host of architectural awards from organizations that favor traditional design. Classical architect … Continue reading

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