Author Archive | Greater City Providence

GC: Exchange – Tuesday, May 8, 2007

transit2020_logoQuick reminder, the Greater City: Exchange is Tuesday, May 8th starting at 5:30pm at Jewel Cafe & Lounge 15 Elbow Street in the Jewelry District.

At the GC: Exchange we will be viewing a presentation and having a discussion on the Transit 2020 Report. We’ll also be enjoying drinks, eats, and will have plenty of time to meet and speak with others.

If you were planning on attending the CPC Meeting Tuesday at Meeting Street School, unplan because it has be postponed. We’re all happy it’s been postponed, because now we all get to go!

Also, mark your calendars for our June GC: Exchange. On Tuesday, June 12th we’ll be meeting at Ada’s Creations, 1137 Broad Street in Elmwood. In June, we’ll be hearing from members of the Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services about the work they do in the Elmwood area. Visit our website for updates and more details on the June GC: Exchange.


Next GC: Exchange – Tuesday, May 8, 2007

2007-0508_GCExchange_webThe next Greater City: Exchange will be Tuesday, May 8th starting at 5:30pm at Jewel Cafe & Lounge, 15 Elbow Street in the Jewelry District.

Please join us for open discussion about the city. Hors d’Å“uvres will be provided by Jewel. Our special guest will be Garry Bliss, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for the City of Providence. Garry will be presenting information about the findings of the Transit 2020 working group. After the presentation we will have time to discuss issues related to transit in Rhode Island.

You may read the Transit 2020 report here.

The June GC: Exchange will be held on Tuesday, June 12th, where we plan to have members of Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services discuss their organization and the work that they do.

The July GC: Exchange will be held on Tuesday, July 10th.

For exact times and locations of upcoming GC: Exchanges please visit our website or sign up for our Newsletter.


Enjoy the sun, plant trees!


Image by Gabriel Kim from stock.xchng.

Enjoy the sun, meet your neighbors, save the Earth!

The Providence Neighborhood Planting Program will be out again this weekend planting trees Saturday. After the gloom and deluges we’ve endured lately this is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy what promises to be a beautiful weekend.

Times and locations:

TIME: 8:30am
LOCATION: Pembroke Ave
START ADDRESS: 50 Pembroke

TIME: 10:30am
LOCATION: Tell & Knight
START ADDRESS: Corner Knight and Tell Streets

TIME: 10:30am
LOCATION: Westminster
START ADDRESS: Westminster at Jacob Licht

TIME: 1:00pm
LOCATION: Third Street
START ADDRESS: Meet at 8 Third Street


Next GC: Exchange – Tuesday, April 10, 2007

2007-0410_gcexchange-webThe next Greater City: Exchange will be Tuesday, April 10th starting at 5:30pm at MoJoe’s Bar & Grill, 166 Broadway at Dean Street on Federal Hill.

Please join us for open discussion about the city. Our special guests will be members of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association speaking about their group, the work they do, and the challenges they face. This is a great opportunity to come out and hear about the WBNAs work and to exchange ideas.

The May GC: Exchange will be held on Tuesday, May 8th, where we plan to have Garry Bliss make a presentation on the Transit 2020 Initiative.

The June GC: Exchange will be held on Tuesday, June 12th, where we plan to have members of Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services discuss their organization and the work that they do.

For exact times and locations of upcoming GC: Exchanges please visit our website or sign up for our Newsletter.

UPDATE: Representatives from the Mayor’s Office will be joining us at the April 10th GC: Exchange to discuss the Mayor’s Graffiti Taskforce. Come find out how the Taskforce has been progressing, the successes, the challenges, and how members of the community can get involved.

2007 Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in Pawtucket


Pawtucket: what’s it like?… find out at the RI Statewide Historic Preservation Conference in PAWTUCKET on Saturday, April 14. The conference is a great chance to walk and talk Pawtucket all day long. Walking tours will stroll Downtown, the Exchange Street historic district, and Pawtucket hydroelectric facilities past, present, and future. Bus tours will visit Pawtucket industrial sites, 20th-century landmarks, and Oak Hill. Plus there’s a tour of East Prov industrial sites, but if you wanted the opportunity to visit a bonbon factory in Central Falls, that tour is SOLD OUT.

Also, there’s a Pawtucket Forum (catch up on train station and trash transfer developments), a Pawtucket KleenUp, Pawtucket food from the Exchange Street Cafe, and several sessions and the closing reception at The Grant.

The main theme for the conference, besides Pawtucket, is “Something Old, Something Green,” as we look at the exchange between historic preservation and environmental sustainability.


Next GC: Exchange – Tuesday, March 13, 2007

2007-0313_gcexchange_webThe next Greater City: Exchange Meeting will be Tuesday, March 13th at Jewel Cafe & Lounge, 15 Elbow Street in the Jewelry District.

Last night’s Launch event went great. We would like to thank everyone that came and commend Jewel on doing a fantastic job of making us all feel welcome. There was absolutely no shortage of great conversation and there was a general sense of optimism in the crowd. In the coming months we’ll be focusing directly on specific topics and getting a lot of brainstorming done. We look forward to the Greater City: Exchanges being a catalyst for great things in the city.


Greater City Exchange Launch – Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Greater City: ExchangePlease join Greater City Providence for the Launch of our monthly Greater City: Exchange meetings.

The goal of the Greater City Exchange is to gather together people from across the city and around the region to exchange ideas, information, resources, and passion for the city. There are plenty of organizations and plenty of people out there championing the city and working hard on specific projects. The Greater City Exchange gives us urban minded individuals a chance to gather together and discuss what we’re working on individually and the challenges we are facing in our own corners of the city. By setting a time and place to exchange ideas we can come up with new solutions and combine resources to work together on initiatives that work to improve the entire city.

The Launch of the Greater City Exchange will take place Tuesday, February 27th starting at 5:30pm at Jewel Cafe & Lounge in the Jewelry District. Jewel is located at 15 Elbow Street (some may recall this as the former location of The Call) between Chestnut and Ship Streets.

The event starts at 5:30pm with a short (very short) presentation about Greater City: Providence at 6:30pm. Hang out through the evening for more drinks, conversation, and live music. The Greater City Exchange will continue monthly on the second Tuesday of every month, starting March 13th. We’ll have more information on the location of the March 13th Greater City Exchange coming soon.

Rocket image from NASA

Dexter Training Ground Park Cleanup – January 7, 2007

Photo by B. Sachs

Changed to Rain Date!
Where: Dexter Training Ground Park (meet near the playground)
When: This Saturday, January 6th Sunday, January 7th at 9:00am
What: Cleanup!

Friends of Dexter Training Ground will be taking advantage of the warmer than average weather to have a cleanup of Dexter Park this Sunday @ 9am.

Activities include litter pickup, graffiti cleanup, and possibly some painting”¦ Also to make note of anything that needs to be repaired so we can pass this on to the Parks Dept.

Donuts and Coffee will be provided, first come first serve.


Greater City Providence agrees with DRC decision to postpone approval of demolition

Last night the Downcity District Design Review Committee met to review applications by The Procaccianti Group of Cranston to demolish two Downcity buildings. The buildings in question being 111 Fountain Street (the Fogarty Building) and 197 Fountain Street (the Old Public Safety Building). The committee postponed ruling on the demolitions until the designs for new buildings at these locations are more fully realized.

Greater City Providence applauds this decision by the DRC.

Fogarty Building Fountain Street Facade

The Fogarty Building has many detractors, however it is a valuable example of the Brutalist style of mid-century architecture, a style that is not well represented in Providence (some would be happy about that lack of representation). As unloved as the Fogarty Building is, the proposed replacement is no better and in the view of some, actually worse.

The Procaccianti Group has proposed a new building at this location with one story of retail at the street on the Sabin and Fountain Street sides, with 6 levels of structured parking above. The entrance to the parking garage would be located on Mathewson Street and the loading docks would be located on the Beverly Street side. The proposed building, dubbed OneEleven Fountain Street would feature blue-ish green glass framed in aluminum on the retail level. The parking structure would be made of precast concrete in a light tan color with black flecks, and the parking decks would be screened by a linked metal mesh.

Greater City Providence does not feel that this proposed building is a proper replacement for the architecturally significant Fogarty Building and does not feel that this building is a worthy addition to the great historic palette of Providence architecture. The modern design elements are not the issue, in fact in this potentially fresh and dynamic emerging area (The “Power Block” as The Procaccianti Group has dubbed it) modern design is a refreshing addition to Providence’s cityscape. This building however presents the worst of modern design, being little more than a box and a poorly hidden parking structure.

We urge The Procaccianti Group to go back to the drawing board with this one. There are many examples of parking garages around that country that don’t scream “parking garage” from the street the way this building does. TPG should look to Boston’s Motormart Garage in Park Square, The New Street Parking Garage in Staunton, Virginia, or their own Westin Hotel and Residences project here in Providence (a block from 111 Fountain Street) which features a well screened parking garage above street level. These examples are all more classical styles but lessons can be learned from them and applied to a more modern vernacular.

Image from Symmes Maini + McKee Associates for the Procaccianti Group

At the Old Public Safety Building The Procaccianti Group proposes to build a 22 story office tower dubbed The Empire at Broadway. The Old Public Safety Building would be removed to make way for this building. The building would feature retail on the Broadway and Empire Street facades, the entrance to the parking garage would be at the corner of Green Street and Fountain Street, and the main entrance lobby to the building would be on the corner of Broadway and Empire Street, on LaSalle Square.

Greater City Providence doesn’t have as much issue with the design of this building, the designs are very tentative but appear to be heading in a good direction. However it is simply heading in a good direction, it needs to be much more fleshed out and TPGs ultimate plans and timetable for this development need to be better explained before permission to demolish the Old Public Safety Building is given.

Old Public Safety Building, Fountain Street Facade.

In this case, careful and full consideration should be given to the possibility of preserving at least the Fountain Street facade of the Old Public Safety Building and sensitively incorporating it into the new structure.

Greater City Providence is eager to see these projects get underway. Both the Fogarty Building and the Old Public Safety Building have sat vacant for far too long and are detrimental to the streetscape and to the connection between Downcity and Federal Hill and the West Side. All parties involved though, from the developer, to the city, to the general public need to carefully consider what gets built at these locations. We will be living with these buildings for a long time, getting them wrong is not an option.