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111 Fountain Street hotel proposal

111 Fountain - Sabin Street

Rendering looking west on Sabin Street

The Procaccianti Group is planning to raze the Fogarty Building at 111 Fountain Street to build a new extended stay hotel. Information below is from their submission to the Downtown Design Review Committee (DRC). This was scheduled to be presented to the DRC today, that meeting has been canceled due to the snow storm.


Project Information

Project Address: 111 Fountain Street
Project Description: 176 room Residence Inn hotel
Lot Size: 24,888 S.F. 0.571+/- Acres
Project Size: 127,500 GSF (includes tenant space)
Project Height: 101’-5 5/8” Top of roof structure – 9 Stories
Project F.A.R.: 5.12 (based on GSF)
Parking Spaces: 150 Parking spaces (at 1 Empire Site)
Architect: Group One Partners

Renderings and Elevations

Rendering view from corner of Fountain and Mathewson Streets

Rendering view from corner of Fountain and Mathewson Streets

Sabin Street elevation

Sabin Street elevation

Mathewson Street elevation

Mathewson Street elevation, left half is set back

Fountain Street elevation

Fountain Street elevation, right 2/3 is set back

Beverly Street elevation

Beverly Street elevation

My Opinion

Meh. Look, I don’t actually want the Fogarty Building to come down, but that’s not a fight I’m going to win. If we must raze that building, let’s building something cool. I actually liked the Miami Beach general hospital from ’80s design they floated a year and a half ago. Not as a final design, but as a direction from which to refine a final design.

Years ago, The Procaccianti Group had grand ideas to redesign this area out to LaSalle Square with a number of new and renovated buildings, calling it the Power Block (which is a silly thing to call it). Those plans turned to dust with the recession, but one of the concepts that came out of that was ProJo’s then architecture critic giving the Power Block over to what he termed, a “modernist playground.”

The “modernist playground” concept was not an endorsement of modern design, but I like the idea of this area of town, which was probably most impacted by mid-century ‘urban renewal,’ as an area for modern design.

I’m tired of every proposal for new buildings in Providence having precast ornamentation which looks nothing like the historic detail it is trying to imitate and brick panels which look simply ugly. Looking at the website for the architect of this building, I’d much rather see their Envoy Hotel design from Boston than what we see here.

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22 Responses to 111 Fountain Street hotel proposal

  1. Jef Nickerson February 8, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    This proposal will be before the DRC at their meeting rescheduled for Tuesday, February 16th at 4:45pm.

  2. Jef Nickerson February 8, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    Envoy Hotel in Boston by Group One Partners

    Of course if anyone ever proposed anything like this in Providence everyone would promptly poop their pants and cry about there not being any brick…

  3. That Flying Weasel February 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    I hate to get all Statler and Waldorf on this (apropos, right?), but I think “meh” is more complimentary than this deserves.

    All of these recent Providence building proposals are starting to blend together. It’s like they’ve been plopped out of the same cookie cutters. The same weird, smallish windows. The same fake brick and masonry, the same bland colors.

    Hey developers, if you’re going to tear down a building in Providence, why not take a little pride in creating something noteworthy or unique in its place? Hell, at least the old Fogarty Building has enough integrity to polarize people and inspire debate.

  4. Peter Brassard February 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    Besides the developer’s taste or a belief that this is the only kind of design that can get approved in Providence, the city’s zoning “design standards” in no same way encourage this type of result.

  5. Liam February 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    More importantly, can we get a render of what it would look like with no building and a plywood sign that says “PARK $10”?

  6. Mark Moreno February 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    The Procaccianti Group isn’t well known for designing good looking buildings but It could be partially Marriott’s fault for this bland design. Marriott isn’t very well known for their good looking hotel buildings especially conciddering Residence inn is a low to mid-teir extended stay hotel brand. Not sure if I’ve ever seen pretty looking Residence Inn. Same could go for chain pharmacies. Chains like Walgreens and CVS usually go by a specific design style when it comes to building new Pharmacies.

  7. KCB February 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    Liam LOL. So true.

    Personally, I think constructing new build hotel or residence buildings that don’t have rooftop space or balconies, or some kind of outdoor space above the street level seems short sighted and lazy to me. There clearly is demand for event space in Providence, why not include that amenity in your design?

    So this is it…150 hotel rooms. No real value added other than that in terms of architecture, design, or services. It could be a worse design, but this is truly pathetic regardless.

  8. David Rocha February 8, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    I honestly think the simple act of switching out all the white for glass would have made this a great fit for it’s location. It would have tied the room together, so to speak. With the Journal, Hasbro, and the convention center, it would have worked well.

  9. Jef Nickerson February 8, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    I think the re-skinning of the Hilton should have been a glass curtain wall. It looks silly now.

  10. David Rocha February 8, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    My only qualm with glass curtain structures is that they often don’t contribute to the skyline at night. We lucked out with Gtech, but most glass structures are boring at night. Like the Wexford hotel, for example, that’s gonna look awful. I love glass, but if a building is gonna be boring, it’s a consolation if it can at least be lit up at night.

  11. Mental757 February 8, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

    On a small positive note, its 9 stories and 100+ feet tall, which at a very minimum provides decent mass and fill to this location.

  12. Sam February 9, 2016 at 9:30 am #

    If built … fine.

    I don’t love it, but fine. I’d take a bland, functional building over a the current state of affairs any day of the week.

    The question as ever remains, can Procc actually deliver?

  13. KCB February 9, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    OK, summarizing what’s happening in downtown Providence with regards to hotels.

    Residence Inn by Marriott – 170 rooms – 9 floors
    Le Meridian (Starwood) Jewelry District – 175 rooms – 10,000 sq/ft of meeting space
    Homewood Suites – 117 rooms

    Total: 462 hotel rooms
    Aloft Hotel (210 West Exchange) – (17 floors) 136 room / 198 residential units [DOA?]

    Very respectable build out, personally would prefer a more “luxury” branded hotel with balconies overlooking Waterfire on the triangular lot over the Homewood, but clearly that’s not happening. I really hope this Aloft project is risen from the dead. I’ve stayed at Aloft hotels, and they are modern and nice.

  14. michael February 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    Is that design set in stone or could it be altered at this stage?

  15. Ron February 9, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    As uninspired as that design may be, I would take a thousand of bland 90’s throw-back structures if it meant that brutalist monstrosity would go.

  16. Gio February 11, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    Honest opinion, with the glass half full this is a sound design and will fit nicely into that project site. It will create an urban wall and provide more affordable rooms closer to the dunk/convention center. It will also create a much more pedestrian friendly area. Obliviously I would love to rather see a more inspiring design, but the architecture will match existing architecture throughout the city. Besides, this isn’t the ritziest of hotels.

  17. Sam February 11, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    Let me second David R’s opinion that replacing the whitish, concrete bits of this proposal with glass would go a looong way towards improving my overall opinion of it.

    Really like the brick/glass look. Boston has some tremendous examples. Of course the very best of those are renovations and/or expansions of historical brick buildings. There’s one on Congress St that appeals to me, and the Converse HQ comes to mind.

    To be sure, this Procc proposal lacks that historic element. But I do feel like a clean glass/brick combination here would tie together Providence’s existing, actually historic brick buildings, such as the ProJo, and newer modern buildings like the Convention Center.

  18. Jef Nickerson February 17, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    The DRC approved this design with only minor changes at last night’s meeting.

  19. KCB February 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    Hey Jeff, does Procc Group still intend to develop the parking lot (old Gulf Station) across from the Hilton? Are there any active plans?

    Are there any plans to develop the other parking lot across the street? Someone mentioned that Regency had plans to build a new tower… what is the general plan for that area?

    They are doing enhancements to it, and it’d be nice to eliminate all that surface parking!

  20. Jef Nickerson February 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    I don’t think TPG owns the circular gas station lot, although they did make plans for it within their Power Block scheme about a decade ago. According to a search of City and State records, it appears to be owned by an LLC registered by Joe Paolino.

    The Old Public Safety Building Memorial Parking Lot™ is owned by TPG and is part of the parking plan for this building. My understanding is we should expect them to apply for another extension of the temporary parking permit for that lot very soon.

  21. KCB February 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    Paolino huh… so it will never be built on and it will never be sold or leased for a reasonable asking price. Paolino is an anchor holding Providence down. He represents the old way of doing things and should just retire to Florida, already. He has spaces on Weybosset that people are constantly talking about. He was asking $6,000 a month for a small space that was a deli. The poor kid had to sell 1,000 sandwiches just for the *cash flow* to pay the rent. No wonder all these spaces sit empty. He won’t ever do any conversions, or real development. He is a leech and needs to be made an example of.

    Thanks for the info. Coming into the City and seeing so much surface parking is very discouraging.

  22. PED June 28, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    Any updates on this project? Curious as to when demolition will begin and the new construction will start. Thanks

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