This video rendering shows what the vision for Greater Kennedy Plaza could look like as you move through it.
Archives For Kennedy Plaza
Stylish and well-wheeled gents and ladies enjoy a leisurely bicycle parade through downtown Providence in the city’s first-ever Tweed Ride, complete with tea!
The excursion begins at Greater Kennedy Plaza and ends at the RISD Museum for an afternoon viewing of the Museum’s newest exhibition, “Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion.”
Update (Apr. 22): Union Studio News: Greater Kennedy Plaza
The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy (DPPC) is set to unveil plans for the transformation of Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence this evening.
Stakeholders in the downtown area including the City, the Parks Department, RIPTA, area businesses and universities, and others have been working on reimagining the plaza for the last 6 years. Over the past 12 months, through an “Our Towns” grant from the NEA, Union Studio Architects has led the process of finalizing that vision.
Among other improvements to be unveiled this evening, the plan calls for improving the bus operations at the heart of the plaza, Kennedy Plaza proper if you will. Through their on-going Comprehensive Operational Analysis, RIPTA has determined that schedule improvements will allow them to reduce the number of berths to 10. These 10 berths can be relocated to the edges of the plaza along Washington and Fulton Streets, allowing the bus-only lanes in the middle of the plaza to be filled in and turned to other public uses. Amy Pettine, RIPTA’s director of planning and marketing told The Providence Journal, “It will be a better experience for riders and a better environment.”
Improvements throughout the Greater Kennedy Plaza area (Biltmore Park, the Skating Center, Burnside Park, and the area from City Hall to the Court House) which will be fully released to the public tomorrow, include better integrating the Skating Center to the wider area allowing for better off-season (summer) use, raised roadways allowing for better pedestrian connectivity throughout the plaza and calming automobile traffic, and a Civic Plaza that DPPC Executive Director Cliff Wood calls a “front porch for City Hall.”
Reconfiguration of the bus stops and improvements infront of City Hall may be completed in 2014. Federal money the City has for roadway improvements would go toward this initial phase. This money is from the Circulator Project, which will be reconfiguring roadways between LaSalle and Emmet Squares this year. Wood told the Providence Journal that the entire project may cost as much as $20 million and depending on fundraising, could take 4 years to realize.
We’ll publish further specifics on the Kennedy Plaza plan tomorrow.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy Board.
Friday, April 5th, 5pm-7pm, The Providence Athenaeum presents the weekly SALON: “Curating the City: Temporary Installations, Permanent Impressions” series, part 2: “Parades and Papier-Mache,” with Union Studio Architecture & Community Design Partner Doug Kallfelz in conversation with Diana Johnson, independent art consultant and 195 Commission member, and Buff Chace, Managing General Partner of Cornish Associates, partner in the Greater Kennedy Plaza partnership.
Two areas of our city are currently the focus of planners and prognosticators. Both Kennedy Plaza and the Jewelry District seem full of promise, but are stuck in a holding pattern. While we wait for the longed-for influx of “cranes and cash,” is there a more temporary or seasonal approach to enriching these districts? Join Kallfelz, Johnson, and Chace for a discussion of what the near future might look like.
The Salon takes place at the Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street in Providence; entrance is at ground floor-level door at the corner of Benefit and College Streets. Free and open to the public. More at providenceathenaeum.org.
Mayor Taveras is unveiling his Economic Development Report.
Update: Media reports
- Providence Business News: Taveras outlines economic development plan
- WPRI: Mayor’s economic plan includes freezing commercial taxes, redeveloping Kennedy Plaza
Pledging Action, Mayor Taveras Outlines Plan to Grow Providence’s Economy
‘Putting Providence Back to Work’ report presents roadmap to improve the business climate, infrastructure and human capital in Rhode Island’s Capital City
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras today announced a 20-step economic development action plan to put Providence residents back to work and jumpstart the economy of Rhode Island’s Capital City.
The Mayor said that Providence’s economy must be built on the success of a broad range of industries and sectors, and pledged swift action to improve Providence’s business climate, infrastructure and human capital.
“When we work together, we can compete head to head with any city or state in this country,” said Mayor Taveras. “Nothing will change minds about Providence as much as continuing our track record of success.”
The Mayor outlined five immediate steps his administration will pursue to support and grow Providence’s economy:
- Freeze the commercial tax rate – The Taveras administration will work with the Providence City Council to enact a seven-year commercial real estate tax freeze that guarantees consistency and stability for developers in Rhode Island and beyond.
“Freezing our commercial property tax rate will send a message that Providence is serious about attracting new business. We look forward to the day when economic growth in our City enables us to actually lower Providence’s commercial rate,” Mayor Taveras said.
- Fix the City’s Permitting Process – Contained in the FY14 budget that Mayor Taveras will present to the City Council next month are two positions to staff a new unit in the Department of Inspections and Standards focused solely on reviewing and approving small-permit applications of under $100,000. These small projects account for 75 percent of all permit applications in the City.
Additionally, this summer the City will move its permit application process online. For the first time, developers will only need to log onto the City’s website to apply for a permit and get status updates on their applications.
- Remove Barriers to Redevelopment – The City will conduct an inventory of all major properties in need of redevelopment. For properties that are not defined as historic landmarks, the City will put on a fast-track for approval all projects to replace existing structures with new construction.
“We recognize that the City has an important role to play in facilitating new development. It is time to get cranes in the air and put people to work rebuilding our city,” Mayor Taveras said.
- Develop Surface Lots Citywide – To stimulate real estate development and ease the crunch on parking downtown, the Taveras administration will work with the City Council to provide tax stabilizations to developers who commit to new development on existing surface lots. New construction on an existing lot will be taxed based on the property’s current assessed value. This program will create jobs, incentivize new, mixed-use developments, and spur new investment on Providence’s major commercial corridors.
- Reinvent Kennedy Plaza – The City will work with the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, RIPTA and other public and private partners to reconfigure and reduce the number of buses in the Plaza and transform it into a pedestrian destination.
It may be freezing outside, but spring is on the way and that means the Skating Center will be closing down the ice soon.
The Providence Rink at The Bank of America City Center Offers Last Chance of The Season to Catch Some Ice
An extra week to enjoy outdoor ice-skating in downtown Providence! Special events to celebrate the end of the season!
PROVIDENCE – Providence residents and visitors alike can savor the final days of winter by skating outside at the Bank of America City Center at the end of its 14th season. The season ends Sunday, March 24th, completing the 18-week season of ice-skating that was enjoyed by more than 50,000 skaters.
- Special Weekday Hours Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22: 4pm to 10pm
- Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 hours: 11am to 10pm
Special events for the last two weeks of the season:
- Thursday, March 14th: Art in Ice ice-sculpting feature from 6pm to 9pm.
- Friday, March 15: High School Night special 7pm to 10pm.
- Saturday, March 16th: Girl Scout cookies for sale!
- Sunday, March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day celebration with City Girl Cupcake 12pm to 4pm
- Monday, March 18th: New weekday hours from 4pm to 10pm
- Saturday, March 23rd: Open 11 to 10pm
- Sunday, March 24th: Open 11am to 10pm. Closing Day
With the end of the ice skating season drawing to a close, The Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center will transform into a premier programming and event center from April to October! The Providence Rink is a perfect location to host all types of summer programming and events with over 14,000 square feet of space available in the heart of downtown. Event applications are still being accepted for the upcoming 2013 summer and fall season.
Coming soon! The Providence Rink will unveil a new website at ProvidenceRink.com that will provide the complete year-round programming and event schedule and offerings.
For additional information until our new website is up, please visit ProvidenceSkating.com or call 401.331.5544.
There was this giant snow pile on Eddy Street, then I went to Kennedy Plaza, then I got coffee.