Tag Archives | LaSalle Square

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – September 10, 2012

Notice of Regular Meeting • Monday, September 10, 2012 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Meeting Room, 444 Westminster Street, Providence

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of June 11, 2012 and July 9, 2012

Old Business

1. DRC Application No. 11.01: 55 Canal Street (Arnold Hoffman Building, now RISD’s Illustration Studies Building) Presentation of design modifications to the proposed 5-story addition on the east elevation of the building to house a code-compliant stairway, elevator and restrooms. (The project received final approval at the DRC meeting on 4/11/11).

2. DRC Application No. 11.05: 108 Weybosset Street/88 Dorrance Street (Teste Block) Review of construction details for the new infill addition on the Weybosset Street elevation, and review of new storefront details for the Teste Block. (The project received conceptual approval at the DRC meeting on 8/15/11).

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Snowblogging: Twice in one week!

I am going to try to not sidewalk rant here. It is still snowing, so by right, no one is required to have their sidewalks clear, but expect a little ranting to sneak in, I can’t help myself!

I was out between noon and 1pm and did a big loop through Downcity to Waterplace and back.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Right off the bat, a little rant, I told you I can’t help myself. Well not so much a rant as a surprise; the sidewalks at Dominica Manor have not been touched today. They do not need to be per regulations, but they are usually out clearing snow all day on a day like this. Budget problems?

I didn’t take a photo, but as always, Angelo’s was clear. Someone was out shoveling and salting as I walked by.

Again, dumbfounded here, my ranting is bearing fruit. Someone (I assume the City though it is a State bridge) dumped a metric ton of salt on the Atwells Avenue Bridge sidewalks.

Snow - January 21, 2012

Of course then the plows pushed snow up on top of it. The sidewalk on the other side faired better and was actually clear, even as I walked back and the snow was getting heavier.

Snow - January 21, 2012

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Updated: Two-Way Empire and Weybosset on January 10, 2012

Variable message sign at LaSalle Square

Variable message sign at LaSalle Square

Update: Two-way traffic to begin Tuesday morning, January 10th before the AM commute. See Press Release in the comments below.

Signs are up on Weybosset and Empire Streets alerting drivers that those streets will become two-way in “January 2012.” When exactly in January, it doesn’t say.

My understanding is that the final striping and signage and such to convert the streets will be put in place on a Saturday and Sunday morning, Ta Da!, two-way streets. I can’t imagine that work will take place on New Year’s Eve, so I’m speculating we have at least another week to go.

This is of course all part of the Downtown Circulator Project which got underway in April, and was due to be completed in November, oops!

The rebuilt intersection of Weybosset, Richmond, and Mathewson Streets, aka PPAC Square, is also part of this project.

If previous plans hold true, work should begin next year on Phase 3 of the Circulator Project which will include the redesign on Emmett and LaSalle Squares, conversion of Sabin Street in front of the Convention Center to two-way traffic, and the possible two-way conversions of Exchange Terrace and Dorrance Street between Washington Street and Emmett Square.


Hasbro to expand to LaSalle Square

15 LaSalle Square in Providence

Image from Google Street View

Channel 10 is reporting that Hasbro will announce today their expansion to 15 LaSalle Square in Providence. The property was vacated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island when they move to their new headquarters are Waterplace.

A 3pm news conference with the Mayor of Providence, the Governor, and representatives from Hasbro is said to be scheduled at LaSalle Square.

Hasbro announced several months ago the expansion into Providence as the company set to move workers from Massachusetts and add more workers to the division settling in the capital city. They had made no official announcement of where in Providence they planned to settle, though rumors were pretty heavy about the LaSalle Square location.

The new location at the end of Empire Street creates a mini-Gaming District in Providence with Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios being located in another former BCBS RI building down a block away.

Hasbro will maintain its corporate headquarters in Pawtucket.


Snowblogging: Miracle Edition

Snow - January 27, 2011

THAT my friends is a shoveled sidewalk on the Atwells Avenue Bridge over Route 95. Yes, it is true.

But wait, don’t think I’m gonna be all sunshine and moonbeams. A for effort to get this thing cleared so soon after last night’s snowicane, but I have complaints.

Every winter, at some point this sidewalk does get cleared. But this is never cleared:

Snow - January 27, 2011

The traffic island on the Downcity side. If I walk all the way over the bridge, the crosswalk drops me on this traffic island, which now has about 3 feet of snow on it. Even on the miraculous day when the bridge sidewalk is cleared, this never is, so it is into the street with me.

But there’s some equal opportunity non-snow clearing at work this morning:

Snow - January 27, 2011

The right turn turbo lane from Atwells to the 95 ramp is not touched at all, which was surprising to see. Guess what, the traffic works just fine with out it. Drivers pull up to the light, turn on their directional, and make a right. I say let’s just get rid of that stupid turbo lane, I say we ban all turbo lanes.

Let’s take a look at the rest of my commute.

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The Dunk’s south plaza

I have bemoaned before that the south plaza* at The Dunk (the entrance facing the Hilton) was unfinished and sad.

Thankfully, the last several weeks, work has been going on to finish the south plaza. There has been all sorts of fencing blocking the view of what they were doing, but today I was able to get a good look at it.

Dunkin Donuts Center

Dunkin Donuts Center

Obviously no landscaping is in yet, but already it is an improvement. The curved lines are remeniscent of the sidewalk treatment between the Convention Center and the Westin, I’m assuming that is purposeful.

This is what the renderings showed of the south plaza when The Dunk was being redeveloped.

Obviously they are doing something different, but it would be nice if those umbrella tables carried through to the new design. We’ll see how it develops as they finish it up.

*I don’t know what that area is called, if it even has a name, I call it the south plaza, not too original, I know.


Downcity Design Review Committee – August 16, 2010

Notice Of Regular Meeting • Monday, August 16, 2010 4:45 PM
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium
400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903


  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of July 12, 2010

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 10.17, 15 LaSalle Square

Image from Google Street View

Proposal to replace the existing glass entryway with a new glass entryway system.

2. DRC Application No. 10.18, 3-9 Steeple Street

Image from Google Street View

Proposal to install new tenant signage on the building.

3. DRC Application No. 10.16, One, Two & Three Regency Plaza (Public Hearing)

Image from Google Street View

The subject of the hearing will be an application by Regency Plaza LLC, requesting waivers of DRC Regulations limiting the maximum total area of all signs and prohibiting internally illuminated signs. The applicant is proposing to install new signage at the Regency Plaza Complex.



Downcity Design Review Committee – May 10, 2010

Notice of Regular Meeting • Monday, May 10, 2010 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Auditorium 400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of April 12, 2010

Pre-Application Review

Google Street View

Regency Plaza The applicant is requesting a pre-application review of a proposed sign package for the entire complex, which consists of three towers and campus.



A proposal for two-way Empire Street at LaSalle Square


Original drawing by RIDOT, modifications by Jef Nickerson • Click image to enlarge

Last month we took a look at the city’s plans for the redesign of LaSalle Square. The city is planning to make Empire Street two-way for the entire length (from Weybosset/Broad to through the square to Sabin Street). The city has had some back and forth with RIDOT on the issue, so the current plans do not reflect two-way Empire Street.

I’ve given some thought to how Empire should move through the square and above is a drawing of my idea.

Empire-Broadway through-route

Make Empire and Broadway one continuous through roadway. Make Sabin end at a T at Broadway/Empire. This makes for just two light movements. Broadway/Empire green with no turns, just straight through. And Sabin green with left and right onto Broadway/Empire. No need for special light cycles to get different turns accomplished, very easy predictable geometry for drivers and pedestrians. If the lights are timed right, one should be able to drive from Broadway and Dean to Empire and Weybosset and beyond without stopping.

Aborn Street plaza

Aborn Street, which runs between the Dunk and the Hilton is technically a public street, though it does not actually run anywhere and effectively acts a driveway for the Dunk. Since it has almost no public traffic, I’ve downgraded it from a full street to a plaza-like configuration. The street climbs up onto the sidewalk, bollards on the sidewalk mark its path. See the plaza at the RISD Chase Center for an idea of how this would work. The Chase Center plaza doubles as open space and a loading dock for the Museum and other adjacent buildings.

Sabin sidewalk/Dunk Plaza

Sabin Street is pulled away from the Dunk to make it meet Empire/Broadway at a right angle. The space where Sabin used to be outside the Dunk gets replaced with a raised planter that can double as casual seating along the planter ledge. This puts a barrier between traffic and pedestrians and also funnels pedestrians along the sidewalk properly.


Dunkin Donuts Center prior to renovations • Photo by Jef Nickerson

At the Aborn end of the Dunk there is currently a sad little plaza that could and should be upgraded to make a small pocket park outside the Dunk. There was a small, not too terrible, pocket park at this location prior to the Dunk renovation, it was behind the giant electronic sign and really underused before. Having a park that is more open to the street, combined with more foot traffic in LaSalle Square would make for a more successful park at this location.