Greater City Providence

Happy Thanksgiving From Greater City Providence!

Cathedral Square

While recovering from your turkey (or in our case, tofurkey) dinner, make sure you give thanks for everything you have, including Providence, our big little city – simplified…

While luxuriating in the holiday while many of us posters are away, you can focus and reflect upon these photos of pre-I95 Cathedral Square before our I.M. Pei monstrosity was constructed. The photo above is from the Providence Public Library’s very nice historic photo collection (more on that later). The organic, innate, mix-used urbanity, vibrancy, and density are immediately apparent. We could do far, far worse than to recreate a square like this in the future 195 land, or maybe even Cathedral Square itself…

Future 195 land planners take note…

Cathedral Square

Bret Ancowitz

1 comment

  • Cathedral Square wasn’t destroyed by 195 though – it was destroyed by 95. The two streets converging in the above photograph are Westminster and Weybosset. That being said, I’d be much more a fan of decking over route 95 from Pine Street to Atwells Ave, and recreating the old street grid there, than trying to alter the street grid in the jewelry district to recreate Cathedral Square. I think that once the old 195 is demolished, Chestnut Circle will serve that function very well anyhow, and the rest of the streets should just be restored to the way they were. I will also admit to being skeptical of the outcome of the whole 195 relocation project, from an urbanist standpoint, because we seem to be totally inept at developing the plethora of vacant lots that already exist here. Hasn’t anyone even thought of trying to pass a tax policy that would put pressure on these people to actually develop their lots?

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