Greater City Providence

PBN: Edge College Hill Two design wins initial approval

Rendering of Edge College Hill II showing original 7-story proposal for North Main Street side – by DBVW

With a design that reflected reduced height and other concessions to unhappy neighbors, the Edge College Hill Two building won a conceptual approval Monday from the city’s Downtown Design Review Committee.

Initially, many neighbors on College Hill who spoke at public meetings were opposed to the size of the new building. By Monday, with a reduced size, most in the committee’s audience were in favor of the project.

The latest revision would take the building facing North Main Street down to a level of five stories, rather than seven.

I think this is a good compromise to bring the North Main Street side down to a scale that people feel comfortable with, but allowing the Canal Street side to rise up to 11-stories, which is consistent with other buildings in the area.

This project will still need to go back to DRC for final design approval, but it seems with this approval, the issues that were jeopardizing this project, have been put to rest.

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.


  • It would make for a more interesting building if the volume that was taken away on the N. Main St. side were allowed to be added as a couple extra stories on the Canal Street side. So 5 stories at N. Main, 11 in the middle, 13 facing Canal (or 11 at Canal, 13 in the middle).

  • Its too much red/terra cotta for that site. That they are trying to be contextual with Phase 2 is laudable, but it all reads as one big blob. If you look across the way along canal (net to RISD and the river) there is a limestone “tower” that serves as a better precedent. I hope phase 2 gets clad in limestone, precast, or a like-colored brick.

  • Its too much red brick -its overwhelming!.. Look across the way to RISD. The exteriors are more variegated -particularly along the river. The contextual approach is laudable, but all that terra-cott color, for a building this large?… next to its new and old neighbors it reads like a great big blob. Go with limestone, precast, or a monochrome brick exterior -much better response, imo. : )

  • Will Providence ever get away from the red brick? I’ve never fully understood its use to convey or compliment historical surroundings when those surroundings offer so much variety in texture and material.

  • When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails
    with the same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service?

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