Greater City Providence

State House Parking Lot – Posted without commentary

Because really, what am I supposed to say? Everyone else should feel free to post their own commentary though.

Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


Francis Street Presentation.pdf


[alert type=”muted”]See also:
A Google tour of State House surface parking
Guest post: Parking reform should start at the State House
State defiantly moves ahead with surface parking
State to pay $3.1 million to buy land for prohibited parking[/alert]

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • I’m absolutely disgusted. The state has no right to violate Providence’s zoning.

  • I like picture 15, which depicts a hybrid car using this swanky new lot. Who do they think they’re kidding?!

    What vision. What foresight. What a-holes.

  • What lame excuse are they using to justify building another F-ing parking lot on a hill that’s full of them and a short walk from an enormous garage that has never been filled to capacity?

  • A great way to capture more of the suns energy…i will have to take the ambient temp on a hot summer day. Lets increase the energy collection by removing even more green and replacing with asphalt. Did anyone there take an environmental science course? Do some heat calculations and their derivatives. Typical lol….sigh…. There is a better design. Or we could wait 30 years for the trees to grow.

  • I do not support this project or any other projects which call for more surface parking in Providence. I am happy to see that there is bike parking proposed however there is ZERO existing or proposed bike infrastructure on the roads connect to the State House. How can employees and visitors be expected to utilize the bicycle parking if there is now safe way to get there?

    The state needs to channel resources into creating better connectivity for bicycles and pedestrians in and around the State House. We should also capitalize on the train station which is directly across the street as well as the brand new Kennedy Plaza bus hub.

    Why put so much money into more of the same? The state should discourage use of motorized vehicles and not make parking the priority.

  • Again, if this is the government that is in charge of “redeveloping” the I-195 land, we’re screwed.

    They could have easily built a multi-level garage at this site, consolidating this land with the recently expanded east-lawn lot spaces by eliminating that expansion entirely. Obviously, the foresight was weak here.

    A garage with retail or office frontage along Francis St. would have made for a great connection between Smith Street, the State House / Offices, Renaissance Hotel and Vets Auditorium.

    Although more parking is an eye-roll, a garage would certainly have been more of a benefit with parking spaces for government officials during the day and for theater attendants during evening shows, electric car charging stations, Zip Car rentals, bike storage, a cafe and premier restaurant or cabaret space with other mixed frontage would have truly made the “Avenue of the Arts” just that.

    Yet another disappointment in Rhode Island.

  • I was picturing one of those parking lots that’s justa no-frills lay down asphalt, paint lines and call it a day. Like those ones downtown that were supposed to be built on.

    But this looks like they want it be a permanent fixture. Unbelievable.

    I love how they made sure to crop out all of the state-owned parking lots in the aerial view. And everyone is hanging out in front of the parking lot. I mean, why go all the way over to the state house lawn, when there’s a plaza between two parking lots you go to instead?

  • The state bought this land a couple of years ago for 3.1 million from former Senate Majority leader John Hawkins. Since then–and please correct me if I am wrong–they have not explored any other possible uses despite the central location of the parcel.

    Besides all that, surface parking is prohibited both by municipal zoning and by the Capital Center District design guidelines.

  • Is the city going to try to do anything to stop this? Can they? I feel like this is a fight worth having for such a prominent piece of land next across from the most beautiful building in the state..

  • In no way is this an endorsement, but I’ll be amazed if there are actually benches, solar powered/LED lights, trees, brickwork, bicycle racks, nice iron looking fences, flowers, and new sidewalks. Somewhere, somehow, some of the features will be “value engineered” out due to cost overruns…

  • The histrionic street furniture crap is an insult. It’s like offering a shiny object to a crow as a distraction.

    I’ve always found it curious whenever parking lots are portrayed in illustrative renderings, they only show one or two trim new cars isolated within a striped field of empty asphalt. How would that lot look if it was filled to capacity with the full range and variety of vehicles from new luxury land-yachts to pickups to old clunkers with dents and rusted license plates?

    I’m afraid that this autocentric degradation of the city won’t change that much until my fellow baby boomers die off or at least are out of power.

  • Gina’s not a boomer, but Mattiello and Paiva-Weed are along with many committee chairs and state bureaucracy heads. There’s also the suburban aspect.

  • As late as the 80s (possibly the early 90s?) that block had a mix of mostly single- and multi-family houses (not more than ten or a dozen) facing both Francis and Park Streets between the Vets auditorium and Smith Street.

    Don’t know the date of this aerial, perhaps the 70s or 80s, but it will give you an idea of what was there/lost:

    Note the buildings behind the state house to the north.

    Over the last 20 to 25 years the area around the state house, like the South Providence hospital area and the JD, among others neighborhoods, has been largely demolished to make way for the needs of car culture.

  • The state has ignored a 2008 law (now RIGL 36-6-21.1) that said the state is to reduce state employee commuting miles (by up to 35% by 2016) and offer a transit pass to employees in lieu of parking priviliges, with annual reports on progress. None of this has been done, only parking expansion and continuation of “free” parking. Chafee’s been a big disappointment on this, couldn’t even get him to get a bus shelter erected in the State House area.

  • Governor Chafee was too busy reducing wait times at the DMV. You would have thought living on the East Side for a few years would have nurtured an appreciation for non-automotive based transport.

  • Can’t wait to go hang out at the ol’ parking lot! It looks like it’ll be poppin’.

  • Above and beyond the total lack of need for more parking, what a terrible waste of prime real estate. Baffling.

  • I would just be happy if the terrible mess that has been there for so long would be gone !

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