Monday, November 14, 2011, 10:00 am, 35 Weybosset Street
On Monday, November 14, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras will join the preservation community to announce new plans for the Providence National Bank Building façade. The façade was saved in 2005 when developers proposed to build the tallest residential tower in downtown Providence on the abutting property. Steel bracing has supported the façade since development stalled several years ago, blocking the pedestrian sidewalk on Weybosset Street and disrupting the street’s unique curvature. The Providence Preservation Society, the Providence Revolving Fund, and the City of Providence have been discussing the future of the site with O’Connor Capital Partners for the past year, and new plans for the façade will restore lower Weybosset’s historic streetscape.
Our previous coverage of the 35 Weybosset Façade. Notably, 35 Weybosset Façade: Options
So, that driveway there is an inlet for a surface parking lot, right?
So far as I know, the plan is to move the bracing to the back to allow the sidewalk on Weybosset to re-open and for the city to re-pave that portion of Weybosset. The owner will be allowed a “temporary surface lot.”
If that rendering is to be believed though, that is way more than the minimum required landscaping so maybe there is some sort of pocket park/pedestrian walkway component baked into the deal.
Also, so far as I know, the owner will also be required to do some maintenance that was neglected previously.
I noticed that! Seems like an okay trade-off, for now. So long as the surface lot has a shelf-life. A providence version of NYC’s POP?
Do you really think that rendering is to be believed? also: ANOTHER TEMPORARY SURFACE LOT? OMG I think my head just exploded.
I tend to agree with Jen. Having in the past been on the presenting side at public meetings, renderings can be deceptive. However, moving the steel frame off the sidewalk will be an huge improvement. At this point since the city is so dominated by parking lots, which is worse a weedy empty lot surrounded by rusted chain link or a finished parking lot with a landscaped sidewalk buffer?
The “landscaping” is silly … it looks like a CVS parking lot. This part of the city is brick and granite and concrete and cobblestones. No parsley here please.
I can get behind this, as long as they commit to the rendering. Surface lots are so 20th century.
In my experience, they never have to commit to the render. There’s no way to say, 6 months down the road, wait, this doesn’t look like the picture. There’s no legal way to enforce that. So renders are useless and can’t be counted on. The testimony at the hearing and what is put in writing is what is enforceable, but I think we’ve seen time and time again, that even THAT often doesn’t matter.
That said, no more temporary parking lots. Seriously. Temporary Parks. Temporary Bike Parking. But no more temporary parking lots for cars on A streets. Or even B streets. JUST SAY NO.