Fire trucks in Celebration

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Traditional charm enchants downtown Celebration, Fla. (disney.wikia.com)

It seems that citizens of the town of Celebration, originally developed by Disney near Orlando, Fla., have been unsafe in their houses since 1996, when it first opened. The fire department says it must ban parking on side streets and those trees have got to go, or else fire trucks can’t make it to fires.

Celebration is a planned New Urbanist community that markets the charm of traditional neighborhoods to attract new residents. Design is limited by a building code that enforces generally historical styles. The small blocks and narrow streets heighten a sense of “perfection” that has been mocked by architecture critics who think anything that doesn’t look out of kilter is old hat. They make dark intonations about The Stepford Wives, but since there has been no convenient rash of murders or invasion of zombies for critics to point to, maybe the latest strategy to deflate its popularity is to scare the bejesus out of citizens.

But this is no conspiracy theory. At a recent meeting to discuss fire safety in Celebration, town officials and homeowner-association representatives were told by fire officials to get rid of street parking – at least on one side of most streets and both sides of some – and street trees. “Life safety is more impor- tant than parking on the street.” No kidding! But fire officials seem to think the two are mutually exclusive.

“Are you saying we are unsafe in our houses?”

“You are unsafe.”

“What has changed? Since there have been no changes to Celebration, are you saying we have always been unsafe?”

“I wasn’t there back then.”

If the deputy chief is correct, then it looks as if we may have to evacuate many of the best places to live in this country. If fire trucks can’t make it down the streets of Celebration, they certainly can’t make it down the streets of Georgetown, Beacon Hill and other places built before World War II.

But in Celebration there have been very few fires over the two decades of its existence, no major fires, and none with death resulting. Does Celebration really need to get rid of its trees and its parking? Or does the fire department have too little to do – you know what they say about idle hands. Not long ago – perhaps needing to spend more money lest its annual appropriation be cut – the fire department replaced its old fire trucks with new and improved (read larger) trucks that are harder to get to fires. Oops!

The minutes of this lengthy meeting cast some doubt on whether fire officials are not overreaching. It was unclear whether fire trucks can’t turn corners because they literally can’t get through, or just can’t do so without slowing down. As things stand, cars parked too near corners are not ticketed aggressively. Fire officials say they will not risk damaging an illegally parked car in order to reach a house on fire; that suggests that they don’t take fire safety seriously enough. By the meeting’s end, fire officials seemed to have backed away from a proposed ban on street parking to a plan to expand the reach of the existing ban on cars parking within 30 feet of a corner.

No one doubts that fire officials care about saving lives. This is their main concern and that is what it should be. But part of their job is to understand the deep and important character of their town, and its place in reviving a workable urbanism, not just in Florida but around the nation. New Urbanists are correct to emphasize the importance of street parking in Celebration. Cars on the street form a buffer to protect pedestrians from traffic. That, too, is life safety. Trees perform the same service. And Celebration would not be Celebration without its abundance of trees lining the street.

It seems apparent that life safety and civic beauty need not be incompatible. A workable compromise seems within easy reach here. If it is not, then it may be necessary to drill down deeper to find the reason why not.

By the way, downtown Celebration’s quotient of out-of-kilter buildings prove that traditional architecture can be just as creative as modern architecture.

[Correction: Early versions of this post suggested unfairly that fire officials were targeting parking lanes on both sides of most streets. For most streets, fire officials believe banning parking on one side would be enough.]

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Deconstructing the matador

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Matador getting a close shave in a bullring. (jewishcurrents.org)

Here is something else from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Jake Barnes is at a bullfight in Pamplona describing to Lady Brett, as they watch, the finer points of an impressive new, young, very handsome matador’s style:

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Hemingway in bullring. (Hemingway Papers)

Romero never made any contortions, always it was straight and pure and natural in line. The others twisted themselves like cork-screws, their elbows raised, and leaned against the flanks of the bull after his horns had passed, to give a faked look of danger. Afterward, all that was faked turned bad and gave an unpleasant feeling. Romero’s bull-fighting gave real emotion, because he kept the absolute purity of line in his movements and always quietly and calmly let the horns pass him close each time. He did not have to emphasize their closeness. Brett saw how something that was beautiful done close to the bull was ridiculous if it were done a little way off. I told her how since the death of Joselito all the bull-fighters had been developing a technic that simulated this appearance of danger in order to give a fake emotional feeling, while the bull-fighter was really safe. Romero had the old thing, the holding of his purity of line through the maximum of exposure, while he dominated the bull by making him realize he was unattainable, while he prepared him for the killing.

I don’t know anything about Hemingway’s architectural tastes but he seems here almost to be channeling Le Corbusier, or at least what modernists claim to be the fundamentals of their style (while refusing to admit that it’s a style). “Contortions” or “cork-screws” = ornament. “Straight and pure” = simplicity and honesty. “Faked look of danger” = tradition.

But doesn’t he give the game away toward the end? He mentions that Romero “had the old thing, the holding of his purity of line through the maximum of exposure.” The old thing?! This suggests that purity of line is really not so new after all. And that Hemingway is really just waving a red cape at readers to rile them up and fake them out, diverting their attention from recognizing that this bullfighter’s style, though in eclipse for a while, was nothing new under the sun. The matador was a revivalist.

Of course, purity of line can characterize traditional architecture no less than modern architecture. It’s just more obvious in the latter. Still, the passage may have caused a lot of tingling among modern architects and theorists, and especially among literary critics who were all gassed up to declare Hemingway’s writing “modern.” Well, of course, Hemingway is not Henry James, but Papa’s style is straightforward. In other words, his style is far from anything new under the sun but rather a harking back – not so much to “old” ways as to more basic levels of prose, writing that seems to mimic how most people would assemble their sentences if they tried to write a novel.

In this, they are more akin to regular architects who just want to build a straightforward house that embraces the need to be useful but also attractive in a way that most people would like. Modern architecture (and genuinely modernist literature, such as the work of James Joyce) is a rejection of that, which is why most people are skeptical of both. Today’s modernists, unlike the modernists of the International Style that was arising alongside Heming- way’s early writing, are the real matadors of contortion and corkscrew.

So far as I know, Hemingway never wrote anything about modern architecture, or any architecture, though he did say “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.” He wrote that in his nonfictional account of bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon. Seeming to invoke the eclipse of tradition by modernism, he was actually railing against novelists whose characters spout philosophy directly as opposed to having it expressed indirectly through their actions. Mencken, who twice comes up in conversation during The Sun Also Rises, did once write about modern architecture. In “The New Architecture,” an editorial from 1931 in The American Mercury, which he edited, Mencken wrote:

The New Architecture seems to be making little progress in the United States. The traces of it that are visible in the current hotels, apartment-houses and office buildings are slight, and there are so few signs of it in domestic architecture and ecclesiastical archi- tecture that when they appear they look merely freakish. A new suburb built according to the plans of, say, Le Corbusier would provoke a great deal more mirth than admiration, and the realtor who projected it would probably be badly stuck.

Alas, Mencken turned out to be wrong.

By the way, Reflections on Ernest Hemingway, an interesting essay at pbs.org by the playwright Tom Stoppard, is about Hemingway’s writing style.

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One dry eye at Fogarty wake

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Fogarty Building on Friday. Demo began on Monday. (Brussat photo)

There’s a bar in downtown Providence, a karaoke place at Westminster and Empire, called Finnegan’s Wake. Well, today we held Fogarty’s Wake for the Fogarty Building, who’s demo began Monday. I’ve made a cottage industry of disparaging it in print. I did give a eulogy, though, and your skunk-in-the-funeral-parlor correspondent was on best behavior. But hey, the architect’s daughter, Jana Planka, was among the eulogists. Still, knowledgeable heads must have exploded at my restraint. I was told afterward that my eulogy was funny. Maybe. The Journal’s reporter, John Hill, says he will pop my line “I marvel at my lack of hatred for it” into his story. He told me it was “the zen of the event.” Ha ha! I like that!

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Clock amid ruins.

I met Bill Rappleye, the correspondent for Channel 10, before the wake got under way. He shot a segment on the Fogarty’s demise and our funeral for it. The event was a joint production of Brown University, the Providence Preservation Society and Doors Open RI. Rappleye’s report of the “funeral” gave it over two minutes of air time, which is long for TV (below). “It was the first time I’ve ever seen a ceremony held to bid farewell to a building,” he told his TV audience. That’s me in an early bit listening to architectural historian Marisa Brown, of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, describe the building, its history and why it is being, as Rappleye  said, “put out of its misery.”

Other eulogists were Ms. Planka; Ned Connors, an expert in the repurposing of old buildings (the Fogarty was just turning 50, or officially historical); Markus Berger, a specialist in historic interiors at RISD; Elizabeth Francis, director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; Viera Levitt, a photographer who specializes in Brutalist buildings; and Caroline Stevens, the director of Doors Open RI. Ms. Stevens invited listeners to give their own eulogies – a few did – or to write down their memories of the building at her organization’s facebook event page. Read the event sponsors’ obituary, which appeared on the website of the Providence Journal.

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John E. Fogarty Memorial Building in better days. (Providence City Archives)

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Central Police Station, abandoned in 1940, at far left of Fogarty photo. (PPL)

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Riding by versus looking at

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Boulevard Raspail, in Paris. (CPArama)

Yesterday I posted a couple of quotes from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Of a taxi ride down the Boulevard Raspail, the author has his protagonist muse: “It is a street I do not mind walking down at all. But I cannot stand to ride along it.” Walking and riding offer obviously different perspectives on the route, the primary being slow versus fast. Slow allows the walker’s eye to linger on detail, whereas fast whizzes by, giving the rider a set of glimpses that add up to a summary of the route.

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Facades of Bvd. Raspail. (MeilleursAgents)

It is easy to see why a Parisian boulevard of the Haussmannesque persuasion might be less engaging to drive and more engaging to walk. The buildings that line most boulevards are similar at a glance, revealing the differences in detail only upon leisurely examination. Still, I cannot understand why Hemingway’s character, Jake, has such hard feelings against the ride versus the stroll down Raspail. It is fair and comprehensible to like it more on a walk than on a drive, but the drive is not the antithesis of the walk but its abbreviation – not beauty obliterated but beauty rushed; not unpleasant, merely less pleasant.

In fact, if walking along a beautiful road is more pleasurable than riding along it, the reverse must surely be true of an ugly road. Driving along it is better than walking along it for the most obvious reason – driving gets you through it faster. Unless you are a masochist, or a modernist architect such as Le Corbusier, who also, like Jake, did not like the Boulevard Raspail.

“The Rue de Rivoli belongs to architecture, but the Boulevard Raspail does not,” wrote Corbusier in his Towards an Architecture. But even I have to admit that Corbu, who wanted to destroy Paris (see his Plan Voisin*), must have liked the Rue de Rivoli, at least the arcaded stretch, of which most visitors to Paris are familiar, and which predated Baron Haussmann by half a century. In his Seven Ages of Paris, Alistair Horne writes:

Even though the original grand design was never completed, the seemingly endless perspective of the massive arcades and the continuous line of ironwork balconies above them today still presents an effect unrivalled anywhere else in the world, an example of the true grandeur of Paris.

I guess that’s architecture, which not even Corbusier could deny.

* I’ve linked to a Business Insider article about the Plan Voisin from 2013 by Gus Lubin, who tries to convince us how sensible it would be to destroy much of Paris even after admitting it would have been a very bad idea.

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Rue de Rivoli, in Paris, circa 2003. (photo by David Brussat)

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Facades of the Rue de Rivoli. (Wikipedia)

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Hemingway on Paris, HLM

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Boulevard Raspail, disliked by Hemingway (?) and Le Corbusier. (Cartes Postales en Serie)

Before the scene shifts to Spain, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises has some bits about Paris and Mencken, two favorites of mine in the pantheons of cities and writers. Hemingway’s protagonist, Jacob Barnes, takes a cab in Paris (circa 1925), thinks about Mencken’s dislike of Paris, and soon after meets a friend at a café, where they discuss Mencken.

The river looked nice. It was always pleasant crossing bridges in Paris.

The taxi rounded the statue of the inventor of the semaphore engaged in doing same, and turned up the Boulevard Raspail, and I sat back to let that part of the ride pass. The Boulevard Raspail always made dull riding. It was like a certain stretch on the P.L.M. between Fontainebleau and Montereau that always made me feel bored and dead and dull until it was over. I suppose it is some association of ideas that makes those dead places in a journey. There are other streets in Paris as ugly as the Boulevard Raspail. It is a street I do not mind walking down at all. But I cannot stand to ride along it. Perhaps I had read something about it once. That was the way Robert Cohn was about all of Paris. I wondered where Cohn got that incapacity to enjoy Paris. Possibly from Mencken. Mencken hates Paris, I believe. So many young men get their likes and dislikes from Mencken.

Here, a page later, is where Jake gets out of the cab, enters a café and discusses Mencken with his friend Harvey Stone:

“Do you know Mencken, Harvey?”

“Yes. Why?”

“What’s he like?”

“He’s all right. He says some pretty funny things. Last time I had dinner with him we talked about Hoffenheimer. ‘The trouble is,’ he said, ‘he’s a garter-snapper’ That’s not bad.”

“That’s not bad?”

“He’s through now,” Harvey went on. “He’s written about all the things he knows, and now he’s on all the things he doesn’t know.”

“I guess he’s all right,” I said. “I just can’t read him.”

“Oh, nobody reads him now,” Harvey said, “except the people that used to read the Alexander Hamilton Institute.”

“Well,” I said, “that was a good thing, too.”

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The Alexander Hamilton Institute was a business school in New York City founded in 1909 and dissolved circa 1980. What is meant by “reading” it I have no idea. Nor do I know who Hoffenheimer is. Maybe I should have just left that part of this post out. For that matter, maybe the part where Hemingway (who has never thrilled me) deplores Paris should also have been left on the cutting-room floor. Still, it does contain some good backhanded praise for Paris, a city that’s thrilled me since long before I started bloviating about buildings.

By the way, the Boulevard Raspail was named in honor of François-Vincent Raspail (1794–1878), French chemist, physician and politician. Hemingway’s character Jacob is bored by it, but according to Wikipedia, the boulevard was “heavily criticized by Le Corbusier in Toward an Architecture.” Anything Corbu disliked must have been amiable in the extreme. It may be of interest in light of current French politics that another Raspail, the writer Jean Raspail, wrote a novel called Camp of the Saints, published in 1973, about an invasion of France by Third World refugees. It returned to the bestseller lists in 2011.

The P.L.M. was a French railway that linked Paris to the Côte d’Azur. A “garter-snapper” was a womanizer. “Hoffenheimer” may be an erroneous or disguised reference to the writer Joseph Hergesheimer, a friend of Mencken’s who, I would think, is more likely to have been accurately characterized as a womanizer than Mencken, who decidedly was not (though his In Defense of Women is, in fact, a defense of women). Mencken did not dislike women but was married only briefly, to Sara Haardt, who died five years after they were hitched. It may be safe to say that Mencken was more fond of words than women. When Hergesheimer complained about the decline in his literary popularity, Mencken is said to have replied, “I don’t know, Joe. I’ll always enjoy watching you swing from tree to tree.”

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Hemingway (l.) with friends in Pamplona, Spain. (Wikipedia)

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Saving historic pavement

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Sidewalk on Benefit Street, in Providence. (photo by Robin Williams during 2016 visit)

One of many fascinating narratives in Seven Ages of Paris was author Alistair Horne’s frequent return to the subject of how Paris’s streets evolved from muddy lanes awash in human waste to paved streets with gutters down the middle to guide sewage toward the nearest river. Eventually, sewers were put underground and streets were covered with increasingly elegant pavements. American streets evolved likewise, then saw a devolution in which variously characteristic paving techniques of the 19th century were ripped up or covered over with asphalt in the 20th century.

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In Marais district of Paris. (Pinterest)

Asphalt offered a smoother ride or stroll, but it replaced stone and brick pavements on roads and sidewalks that spiced up the personality of the streetscape. Now there is pushback from Robin B. Williams, chairman of the department of architectural history at the Savannah College of Art and Design, who is working to preserve remaining historic pavements.

Williams, who has a doctor- ate in art history from the University of Pennsylvania, recently described his crusade in “Neglected Heritage Beneath Our Feet,” published on the website of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Subtitled “Documenting Historic Street and Sidewalk Pavement Across America,” his essay begins:

While historic buildings have enjoyed the attention of preservation professionals for decades, the landscapes that are part of their physical setting have largely gone unprotected and undesignated, and are vulnerable to the whims of less sensitive decision makers. … It is concern for the fate of Savannah’s remarkable pavements that resulted into an ongoing national study and the launch of a dedicated new website, entitled Historic Pavement.

He adds:

Prior to the development of inexpensive modern asphalt in the 1920s, cities struggled to find affordable, durable, and available types of pavement suitable to their needs. Pavement was inherently local, with each city devising its own solution to the challenge of paving streets – resulting in unique regional paving “fingerprints.” The varying degrees to which historic pavements survive in cities further enhances this sense of identity.

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Robin Williams (Brussat photo)

I recently joined Williams on a tour of Charleston with Nathaniel Walker, of the College of Charleston, who had invited us to sit on a panel discussing trends in historic preservation. When we happened upon a pavement of cobblestones or other material, Williams would reveal his method of documentation by leaning over to place a ruler on the ground and then photographing it to record the dimensions of the paving materials. He performed this ritual dozens of times.

I learned that he had visited Providence when I noticed that the photograph atop his essay – which I’ve chosen to put on top of this post – was of the sidewalk of slate flanked by herringbone brick running alongside the brownstone wall of the John Brown House (1786), and that of the Nightingale Brown House (1791), both on a two-block stretch of Benefit Street, near where I lived in three apartments on Providence’s Mile of History during my first 14 years here. (Those are the pretty legs of his wife and daughter walking down the pavement ahead of him in the photo.)

So Williams is probably aware of and may even have documented Friends Lane, on College Hill, the restoration of which received a preservation award from the Providence Preservation Society in 1999 and the R.I. Historical Pre- servation & Heritage Commission in 2000 – for obvious reasons their awards programs often overlap. The two awards recognize that places are venerable to the extent that their entire physicality, not just their architecture, contri- butes to beauty that translates into lovability. Williams may be the world’s greatest custodian of that part of a holistic truth that is hidden in plain sight, right beneath our feet.

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Neighbors Lane, on College Hill. (photo by Richard Benjamin, http://www.richardbenjamin.com)

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Christopher Gray, RIP

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Christopher Gray smiles near acanthus-bedecked building in New York. (NYT)

Just got a sad email from Irving Sheldon, my friend and former colleague at the Providence Journal, that Christopher Gray has just died. From 1987 to 2014, he wrote the weekly “Streetscapes” column in the real-estate section on Sundays for the New York Times.

Gray’s column was not strictly architecture criticism, for he wrote not to praise or damn particular buildings or styles, as I do. No, he wrote lovingly detailed the histories of buildings, great and small, mostly in Manhattan, and part of his genius was to wrap into those histories the  endearing (or vexing) tales of their owners, occupants, architects, builders and other associated human beings. In short, he brought architecture to life. Gray also ran a business, the Office for Metropolitan History, which he founded in 1975 to help clients research the history of buildings in which they were interested, and whose existence his widow apparently intends to perpetuate.

Shel knew Gray from school, and introduced me to his writing long ago. His work did not convey stylistic preferences other than passively, at least most of the time. Through the buildings he chose to write about you could get a feel for his preferences. Or maybe I am just “projecting” my own preferences into the mind of someone I admired so much.

Here is David Dunlap’s obituary of Gray in the Times: “Christopher Gray, Architecture Writer and Researcher, Dies at 66.” Here is his last column, “Down the Block, Deep in the Stacks,” on Dec. 26, 2014.

Gray retired from the New York Times at about the same time I was released from the Journal after its sale. I wrote Gray and then called him. I was throwing hail-Mary job applications, and had tossed one of these to the Times, but Gray told me with considerable regret that the paper was not hiring but laying off scores and scores of writers and editors, and that my chances there were nil. Of course, I already knew they were nil because my take on architecture was non grata at the Times. Sure, Gray himself seemed to be evidence to the contrary. Maybe this was why I thought maybe I had a sliver of a chance to latch on somehow.

So I may personally thank Christopher Gray for allowing me to build happy (if temporary) castles in the dreamy sandbox of my own mind. He has ennobled his world. May he rest in peace.

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Eulogies for Fogarty on tap

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Fogarty Building in downtown Providence. (exploringvenustas.wordpress.com)

Whether you are glad or sad to see it go, the Fogarty Building finally seems about to ruthlessly collide its chunky members, such as they are, for the last time. Demolition of the empty, forlorn 1967 building in the Brutalist style is set to begin soon, at 111 Fountain St., though one snowfall has already delayed it and another on the way just might. Some in Providence are preparing to bid the Fogarty a fond adieu.

Marisa Angell Brown, assistant director of programs at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and Caroline Stevens of Doors Open RI , along with Marena Wisniewski at the Providence Preservation Society, and others, are organizing a “wake” for the poor old sod. They have been tracking down people to give brief eulogies at the free but somber event to be held Friday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, at 4 p.m. near the Fogarty. Brown has asked me to fashion a eulogy that chills the proverbial skunk in the funeral parlor, and I have agreed.

That should not be so difficult. Fogarty was a modest fellow, notwithstanding its Brutalism. Instead of ruthlessly colliding its chunky members (that’s from the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture), its concrete squats between Fountain and Sabin with considerable civility, its rectangular windows laid out with military precision, its massing fairly identical to that of its neighbor, the Providence Journal Building, where I worked for 30 years without giving the old boy more than the occasional nod. Not my cup of tea? Of course not. But Brutalist? Not quite.  Not really. Too inoffensive. Didn’t quite muster the brusque jackanapes that its name suggests and that characterize of many of its brethren.

So we will mourn in the true spirit of St. Patrick, who was certainly not the Fogarty’s patron saint but who may be relied upon to shed a happy tear.

For more information, email Marisa Brown at marisa_brown@brown.edu or Caroline Stevens at mailto:caroline@doorsopenri.org.

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Plan to goof up Prov library

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Rendering of five LED panels proposed for 1954 addition to Providence Public Library. (PPL)

The 1954 Moderne addition to the Providence Public Library’s original Beaux-Arts building, completed in 1900, already has much to atone for. Not the building itself – its architects and, more, the PPL board that canceled a classical addition (below) in favor of the above. Not only did the addition’s insensitivity disrupt a lovely intersection at Washington and Empire – soon to be eroded by urban renewal – it also literally stretched itself out so as to block views of the far superior original building from the east.

Since then, successive wasteful renovations have shifted the building’s entrance from Washington Street to Empire Street, back to Washington Street and back again to Empire Street. (The final shift had the look of corruption.) The public deserves to enjoy the original building’s entrance, beautiful both inside and out; the 1954 addition’s appearance is itself the best argument for shifting the entrance back to the original. The peripatetic entrance largely reflects the waxing, waning, waxing and waning status of architectural beauty within the library’s governing body.

Now, according to “Proposed Providence library signage running into questions” in the Providence Business News, the board has decided that forcing the public to enter through the uglier façade (into, by the way, a setting that resembles that of a municipal tax office) is not enough. It has decided to goof up that already lame façade with a set of gaudy, colorful LED advertisements for itself (above). The signage and its mechanical installation will only further undermine the dignity of the addition’s appearance, night and day alike. As for the original, its sadness will only become more painful.

Fortunately, Ted Sanderson, longtime director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, is skeptical of the merits of the proposal. Since the agency is charged with overseeing its renovation grant of $150,000, it must approve the proposal.

Approval would set a precedent that might lead other historic building owners to erode Providence’s beauty in new ways intended to defeat the excellent efforts of the city and preservationists over the decades to thwart the tendency of our era’s design elites to truckle to fashion rather than to obey the law that protects the city’s (far more valuable) historical character. Let us hope that the RIHPHC stands firm.

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Unbuilt 1920s-era addition sits to right of original library building. (PPL)

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Oops! Wrong shot of hotel

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Latest design for proposed Procaccianti Group hotel. (TPG)

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The Fogarty Building. (Journal)

Thursday’s Providence Journal story, “Icon? Eyesore? Demolition to begin of Fogar- ty Building in downtown,” about the demise of the Fogarty Building and its replacement by a new hotel had the wrong picture of the hotel design. It shows the original design, not the latest design – which is to begin construction soon. As a public service, Architecture Here and There offers the correct photo atop this post. The rendering shows the hotel’s Sabin Street façade. The original design, below, from 2014, printed accidentally, shows the hotel’s Fountain Street façade. Notice the total (and admirable) flip-flop from a building that belongs on Jefferson Boulevard to one that at least strives to fit into its downtown setting.

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Initial design for Procaccianti Group hotel. (TPG)

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