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What Cheer/What Jeer 2011

We’re taking a look back at 2011. What Cheering the good and What Jeering the bad.

whatcheer195 Demolition

You guys all know there are like a dozen cities all over the country that are insanely jealous that we tore down our downtown expressway, right?

Putting aside what happens with the 195 Commission (we’ll talk about that in a minute), it is so totally awesome that the highway is gone. Even without any development happening yet, the Jewelry District has been transformed. Suddenly, with the highway gone, people realize the Jewelry District is on the edge of Downcity. And while the sidewalks aren’t exactly jammed, it is certainly noticeable how many people now choose to walk between Downcity and the Jewelry District, who would not before.

Chestnut Street

Route 195 being torn down at Chestnut Street in the Jewelry District

whatcheerBroadway Bike Lanes / Gano Street Sharrows

Anticipated since at least 2008, bike lanes finally showed up on Broadway in 2011.

We also saw the city’s first sharrows show up on Gano and other streets, helping to connect the East Bay and Blackstone bike paths.

Let’s hope we see more bike infrastructure sprouting up on streets all over town in 2012.

whatcheer35 Weybosset Façade

It is going to mean a parking lot, but a parking lot was in the cards all along, we’ve saved the façade for future use and that is going to greatly blunt the impact of the parking lot.

Thanks to the Providence Preservation Society, the Providence Revolving Fund, and all others involved in saving the façade.

35 weybosset rendered

Image: © Chad Gowey 2010. All rights reserved.

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Report: Grove Street School Demo Permit Issued

Tweet from GoLocalProv’s Dan McGowan:

Sought comment from the city, of course it happens to be Friday after 4pm…

Merry Christmas.

Updated:

Previous posts about Grove Street School.

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February 3, 2007


Channel 10 video from February 2007.

Four years today, workers contracted by the family of Assembly Member and Assistant City Solicitor, Michael Tarro attempted the illegal demolition of the Grove Street School on Federal Hill. The owners had no demolition permit and a stop work order was in place. But on a cold weekend morning, crews came out to try to tear the building down. Neighbors alerted police and the Mayor and the demollition stopped.

Since then, the building has stood with a gaping wound in its side, while the Tarro family has ignored repeated court orders to secure the building, and repeated offers from others to buy it from them.

February 4, 2007

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Regarding “Little Red School and the Big Bad Wolf”

The below is a letter to the Editor of the Providence Journal in response to David Brussat’s editorial “Little Red School and the Big Bad Wolf.” As of this date, the ProJo has not printed the letter.

In David Brussat’s “Little Red School and the Big Bad Wolf,” 1/13/2011, he portrays a disturbing instance of demolition by neglect of Federal Hill’s historic Grove Street School. The owner of the Grove Street School, Representative Michael Tarro, has been a blatantly irresponsible building owner defying city law all the while as an Assistant City Solicitor of Providence.

The Taveras administration defines, the city solicitor is responsible for “implementing all legal policies and procedures of the city to ensure that municipal services and activities are conducted in accordance with city policy and ordinance” as quoted in the Providence Journal in “Mayor appoints Padwa to city solicitor post,” 1/15/2011.

It is unconscionable that Michael Tarro continues to hold a position of enforcing city laws he himself willfully chooses to disobey, despite losing every battle in court over the past four years. As a former resident of Providence who could see the Grove Street School, a mere city lot away, from my own home, I am appalled that this issue is still not resolved and that the building continues to be open to the harsh elements.

Mayor Taveras, please secure this property to prevent further deterioration of a viable piece of Providence’s history, put a lien on the building for the cost of such a task, and get Michael Tarro off the city payroll.

J. E. Cole

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