Tag Archives: Providence RI

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 , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

History as cottage industry

Monday’s meeting via Zoom of the Providence Historic District Commission surprised observers by delaying an expected vote to approve the relocation of a historic Italianate cottage on Williams Street, on College Hill. This was the second straight delay. That does … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Speak for history on Monday

The Providence Historic District Commission will meet tomorrow, Monday, July 27 at 4:30 p.m., via Zoom, to decide the fate of Providence. That does not overstate the case. If the commission approves moving the historic cottage at 159 Williams Street, … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Subdivide history? Bad idea

The first blocks of William and John streets off Benefit Street, where College Hill meets Fox Point, are steeped not only in history but historical character. Most of the houses on these and nearby blocks were built in the late … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Protect the statues, please!

The statue of Christopher Columbus in Providence has been defaced in 2010, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Yesterday, amid American history’s most perfervid bout of iconoclasm, the statue was removed by the city for its protection. The municipal government of … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Providence dodges a bullet

Providence dodged a bullet last Tuesday morning. That’s the good news. For all the horrifying videotape, rioters managed to do little real damage to downtown. Lots of glass was broken, boosting the local glass and plywood industries. There were a … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Providence | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Trad and not so trad, cont.

In light of my recent review of Beauty Memory Unity (2019), by Steve Bass, I offer a long post from 2017 that urges classicists to criticize bad trad more gently if they seek a classical revival. Bass describes strict methodologies … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your face as face mask art

Years ago, I urged Providence artists to create murals designed to look like the buildings on which they were painted. A fa├žade with no windows could be painted to look like the rest of the building. Humans could be leaning … Continue reading

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

Canonicus Square betrayed?

Hoyle Square, in Providence’s West End, where Cranston St. branches off Westminster, was renamed for Canonicus, the Narragansett sachem who in 1636 gave tribal land to Roger Williams for Providence Plantations. I could not learn the year the square’s name … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

New England’s “Windy City”

Boston is the Windy City of New England partly because of its proximity to the North Atlantic but also its funnels of street gusts caused by its dreadfully metastasizing skyscrapers. Wind tunnels are raising eyebrows (and skirts) in the Hub, … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Urbanism and planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments